Bupa’s Tenterden House staff return to the track for the third time following on from the success of last year’s triumphant event, but this time they were not the only ones taking part.
As well as a record number of runners, joggers and walkers to cross the finish line on Sunday’s Half Marathon, a few of the residents at Bupa Tenterden House were amongst those taking part.
One of the residents from the Hertfordshire home was Elizabeth Barber. After suffering a life-changing stroke in August 2016, leaving her paralysed and unable to speak, medics feared she would never recover.
Following extensive treatment at Tenterden House, slowly but surely Elizabeth began to regain her strength and coordination. It was then her mission to take part in the St. Albans Half Marathon.
Her positivity and determination shone, and through her recovery the nurses realised her love for running and decided that a team of them from the home would walk the St. Albans Half Marathon on Elizabeth’s behalf. She then joined them, hand in hand to cross the finish line in style.
In her earlier years, Elizabeth was a keen runner, completing four marathons – taking part in her first at age 58.
Elizabeth said: ‘’After my stroke I was just lucky to be alive. When it began to dawn on me, I wouldn’t complete another race, I was devastated.
‘’Running was such a big part of my life, and so to have the thrill of crossing a finish line once again is really special.”
However, this year Elizabeth was not alone. Fellow resident, Josephine Stern from Allington Court joined in on Sunday’s Half Marathon after recovering from a broken hip.
Delia Abaza, Deputy Manager for Bupa Tenterden House, took part in last year’s race. She said: “There was a real buzz in the home when the half marathon came around this year, it really brought all the residents together.”
“Seeing the determination in Elizabeth’s eyes last year really inspired her fellow residence to give it a go – we also managed to get more of our fantastic nurses onboard to join us at the race.”
A total of 11 staff and residents represented Tenterden House Care Home on Sunday, amongst the record-breaking number of participants that flocked to Verulamium Park to take part.
Last year, Bupa Tenterden House was rated as ‘Outstanding’ by the regulators, putting it within the top 3% of care homes in England. The report praised colleagues for making sure residents were ‘central to everything that happened’, encouraging them to pursue their personal hobbies and interests.