Friends Ready to Face Wolf Run for Birmingham’s John Taylor Hospice

From left (6) - Siobhan Walsh (27), Amie Paintain (25), Kristel Paintain (31)

From left (6) – Siobhan Walsh (27), Amie Paintain (25), Kristel Paintain (31)

Dedicated fundraiser Siobhan Walsh from Kingstanding has put together a team of six to take part in this year’s Wolf Run, a gruelling 10km off-road obstacle run in rural Warwickshire. The pack will be raising funds for Birmingham’s John Taylor Hospice.

The 27-year-old is keen to raise as much money as she can.

“It’s my way of giving something back,” said Siobhan. “It will be three years this May since my granddad passed away and John Taylor Hospice cared for him so well. I can’t thank them enough. I really wanted to do something for them, to help other families.”

The Wolf Run is one of several exciting New Year challenges which have been set by the Erdington-based hospice, encouraging supporters to get active for a good cause. Other challenges include a sponsored silence in February and a skydive in May, with places filling up fast.

Fundraiser Siobhan Walsh (left) with Erdington sisters Amie Paintain (centre) and Kristel Paintain

Competitors of the Wolf Run will climb, jump, wade, crawl, swim and run across 10km of harsh terrain including woodlands, obstacles, lakes and fields. Siobhan has never done any off-road running before.

“I’m scared,” she admitted. “The most I’ve ever done is run for a bus – that’s about it. I’ll definitely be out of my comfort zone.”

But Siobhan won’t be running as a lone wolf. Erdington sisters 25-year-old Amie Paintain and 31-year-old Kristel Paintain will take on the obstacles with her, along with Amy Shipman (27), Louise Fox (25) and Stephanie Harbon (25). Neighbours since childhood, Siobhan and her friends are hoping they’ve got what it takes to finish the course.

Raring to go, Siobhan Walsh and her friends take on the Wolf Run in April

“I don’t know why I put myself though these things,” said Siobhan, with a laugh. “The Wolf Run is hardly the sort of race for beginners. It’ll be tough, muddy and challenging, both mentally and physically.

“But when we get to that start line, we’ll all be geared up as a team and we’ll finish all obstacles no matter what. There are monkey bars on the route – we’ll hold each other up if we have to.”

While Siobhan is undertaking this wild charity challenge in memory of her grandfather George Smith, Amie is motivated by her own New Year appetite for fitness.

Amie said: “I’m getting married in May, so I’d like to drop a dress size before the big day. I just thought – why not raise money for a good cause at the same time? It’s an exciting challenge and our group training sessions have been a great way to start the year.”

The Wolf Run is the second of three fundraising challenges Siobhan has set herself in the space of a year. Last year, Siobhan hosted a Hollywood-themed charity disco and in July she will be cycling from London to Paris on a sponsored cycle ride – all to raise money for John Taylor Hospice.

“We’re delighted that Siobhan has entered a Wolf Run team, on top of everything else she’s done for us this past year. She’s an inspiration – the sort of person who really knows how to put the fun into fundraising,” said community investment manager Surrinder Bains.

“It’s not too late to sign up for April’s Wolf Run to raise money for John Taylor Hospice and if you can get a team of five people together to enter as a pack, the fifth person runs for free.”

Across Birmingham, more than 600 people and their families will receive the care they need from John Taylor Hospice today.

“We can offer training support as well as resources to help bring your fundraising challenge to life and encourage donations,” added Surrinder. “Check out our website or give us a call on 0121 465 2000 to join #teamjth for your 2015 fundraising challenge.”

The Wolf Run 2015 takes place on April 11-12 at Welsh Road Farm in Warwickshire. Visit www.johntaylorhospice.org.uk to find out more or make a donation to the hospice. To sponsor Siobhan and her friends for their Wolf Run challenge, go to www.justgiving.com/jthwolfrun.