Josie from our Finance Department shares her very personal story behind the reason she has completed the Cancer Research Race For Life every year for the last 19 years!
For those that do not know Josie, she has the particularly important job of paying all the bills at Guardsman, so her role is a significant one.
Each year, you can always find Josie donning her pink Race for Life t-shirt and her "I will survive” hat which she only wears on race day! It is one part of her Race for Life routine – and one that all her friends and family now look out for when she is going around the circuit. She has completed all 19 races at Oxford University Parks where she can be seen power walking and then a little run at the end to finish it.
Josie’s story, like many of the runners who take part in the Race for Life is a sad one unfortunately. She first started taking part in 2002 with her colleagues at Tesco in Didcot, Oxfordshire. There were a few of the staff who had lost their fight to cancer, so she ran in memory of them, but since then she has lost two members of her own family – her dad who died in 2011 of bowel cancer and her brother in 2017, aged 45. Her mum was a survivor of lung cancer, but sadly died in 2017 and most recently her sister who has had an operation to remove lung cancer, so she now runs in memory of them.
“The best thing and the saddest thing is reading the messages on the backs of people as you go round, you know you are not alone, also you can have a natter about your experiences and through talking can help each other” explains Josie “and as its always in the summer, when you finish you have to have an ice cream (Mr whippy) it just has to be done”
Josie has kept all of her medals and log of her race numbers and has confirmed that she will most definitely be taking part next year so she can collect her 20th medal!
Well done Josie, what an amazing achievement!
To find out more, or to take part in the next Race For Life, click on the link here.