5K Your Way comes to town to support oncology patients

5K Your Way comes to town to support oncology patients
Participants in the Inaugural 5K Your Way Run, launched by Dame Kelly Holmes

The free exercise events are organised for people living with and beyond cancer, their families, supporters and medical staff. They operate alongside existing parkruns, and those taking part can run, jog, walk, cheer, or volunteer to help out in a variety of roles.

The hugely popular parkrun format is also renowned for the communal camaraderie that comes from its non-competitive, supportive environment.

This is the fourth 5K Your Way in Kent, running on the last Saturday of every month alongside events at Leybourne Lakes near West Malling, Great Lines Heritage Park in Gillingham and on the Deal and Walmer seafront.

Rema Jyothirmayi, Consultant Clinical Oncologist at the Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust [MTW], led the drive to recruit runners and walkers for the town.

She said: “We were very excited to welcome double Olympic gold medallist Dame Kelly, who gave a truly inspiring talk about 5K Your Way and the importance of physical exercise for all of us, particularly for oncology patients.

“We had 39 people taking part, and the event was a great success thanks to Lindsay Holmwood and Richard Thomas, our Tunbridge Wells patient ambassadors, Polly Taylor and her group from The Pickering Cancer Drop-In Centre and all those who took part.

“Special thanks also go to the Tunbridge Wells parkrun organisers and volunteers for all their help and support.”

She added: “It was an incredible experience, with Dame Kelly running the parkrun and then walking back to motivate the other runners and walkers. She truly is an amazing role model and inspiration to all of us.”

Dr Jyothirmayi has worked for MTW since 2003, specialising in gynaecological and breast cancer. She has been running with the Malling 5K Your Way since it started last summer.

The Consulstant described the benefits of taking exercise for her patients, saying: “Physical activity has so many benefits for people living with and beyond cancer. “It reduces cancer-related fatigue, helps to preserve fitness, and improves mental wellbeing. “It can also reduce the side effects of treatment and may reduce the risk of cancer recurrence.

“And that’s in addition to all the other benefits for your heart, blood pressure, diabetes risk and general physical and mental health.

“5K Your Way allows people to start or return to physical activity in a supportive and safe environment with a friendly atmosphere – it’s a coffee morning with a difference!”

For more information, search for Royal Tunbridge Wells 5K Your Way on Facebook

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