Ex-rugby player dad to tackle the Great North Run

Published Date
Kiera Santry
Roy and Owen

Roy Fenner, Global Account Manager for the company GEFCO, is set to take on his first half-marathon, the Great North Run (GNR) in September. He’s doing it because his son Owen was diagnosed with a rare form muscular dystrophy, SEPN1 myopathy, when he was eight.

Although physical activities are challenging, Owen is just like any other 14-year-old. He enjoys gaming with his friends, going to the movies and spending time with his two dogs, Flo and Mr Jonty. Owen also has a great relationship with his two older brothers Ed and Adam, who both attend Sheffield University and motivate Owen to support the Blades (Sheffield United).

For Alison and I as parents, it was difficult to come to terms with and understand Owen’s condition. We see him suffer with his condition on a day-to-day basis and I wanted to do something that made me suffer a little. He motivates me to test myself physically and mentally every day and signing up to run the GNR for MDUK this year gives me the opportunity to raise funds, awareness and shed light on the great work being done by the charity.

Roy has been doing some fantastic fundraising for the GNR, with enormous support, notably from the company NIBS Group. After hearing Roy’s story, they were inspired to hold a company golf day, which went on to raise £712! A good friend of Roy’s, Tim Stimpson (former England rugby player) also took part.

I’m not really built for running – being an ex-rugby player, my body has seen a few knocks! Despite that, I’ve been taking part in a weekly 5km ParkRun and increasing the distance for my training. Luckily, an old mate of mine, Barrie, has signed up to run with me! This has been great from a motivational perspective and I look forward to seeing him there.’’

Roy has already exceeded his ambitious fundraising target of £3,000, which leaves him sitting in the top three individual fundraisers (not in a team) on JustGiving out of ALL charities this year and he’s not stopping there! He has re-set his target to a massive £5,000, which could fund an entire month of groundbreaking research into muscle-wasting conditions.

We’re all behind you Roy! #TeamOrange

How to support Roy

To support Roy’s fundraising and keep him in the top three fundraisers out of all charities this year, or simply to follow his story, please visit his JustGiving page.

How to get involved next year

If you are interested in joining #TeamOrange for next year’s Great North Run, please do get in touch!

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