Tag Archives: Hampton Court Half


Elaine did it!

Last month, Book Aid International supporter Elaine Rhodes took part in her very first half marathon and all in aid of our work! We were delighted to hear that she successfully completed the race. Here she shares her experience:


Hampton Court Palace


After a groggy 5am start, I arrived in Hampton Court just before 8am, dropped my bag off and stretched with 5000 other runners, all of whom were supporting a variety of other causes. Seeing so many people in one place, excited and motivated to support their chosen charity is one of my favourite things about race day. The atmosphere is so positive and there is a real sense of comradery.

It was quite chilly to begin with, but after a warm-up, I was ready to join the other runners and take my place behind the start line. By that point, the nerves had gone and I was ready to get going.


Elaine Rhodes


The race itself feels like a blur now! It was challenging, but I felt buoyed along by the lycra-clad sea of runners. Pairing this with a good dose of adrenaline and Beyoncé’s ‘Run the World’, I was able to maintain momentum.

The encouragement from hundreds of supporters along the route also provided an incredible boost (my mum was stationed around mile three – thanks mum)! There were people to cheer you on at almost every corner, greeting runners with smiles, applause and cheering. It really made such a difference. Around mile 11, it was a particular ‘celebrity’ supporter that really gave all the runners a much-needed boost: Experiencing a dip in energy levels, I found running past the beautiful Hampton Court Palace where Henry VIII and one of his wives were cheering us all on, a slightly surreal, but energising moment.


Henry VIII


Throughout, what really kept me motivated, was the thought of the money I was raising for Book Aid International. It was – and is – a truly incredible feeling to know that thanks to the generosity of the friends and family that sponsored me, I am able to donate over £250 to Book Aid International.  If anyone would still like to sponsor me, there is still time to donate through my JustGiving page.


Elaine with her medal


So thank you to all my family, friends and colleagues who supported the amazing work of Book Aid International by sponsoring me. Thanks to their generosity, the charity will be able to send over 125 brand new books to support library users in places where books are scarce – books to empower individuals and communities and provide people with the tools to shape their futures.


Many thanks to Elaine and her friends, family and colleagues for supporting our work.

Take a look at the links below to learn more about our work and ways you can get involved.



Running for books

Next weekend Book Aid International supporter Elaine Rhodes will be donning her trainers and running her very first half marathon for us!

We caught up with her to find out why she wanted to run 13.1 long miles in aid of our work:


Elaine Rhodes


Having previously run a few 10ks, I decided it was time to set myself a new target for the New Year.  A half marathon seemed like next logical step, so I signed up for the Hampton Court Half.

Training has been going well. I have been slowly but surely chipping away at the distance each week and I’m feeling on track at the moment. As I have never run this far before, I don’t have a particular time in mind or personal best that I want to achieve on the day. As long as I get past the finish line I will be happy!


Elaine Rhodes


I am nervous but excited, especially as the course is Tudor-themed. It is rumoured Henry VIII will be waiting at the palace to cheer runners on! Having 13.1 miles as a goal has been a great incentive to get up and train, even on freezing cold days when I would rather not lace up my trainers. More importantly, I have the added incentive of knowing that I am running to raise money and awareness for such a fantastic cause.

The work of Book Aid International is incredibly important. When I pause to think about the joy, experiences and opportunities I have been fortunate enough to experience through access to books, I am incredibly grateful. Even those who are not avid readers would have to agree that they would not have had certain doors opened to them without the information and understanding obtained from a book.

Reading is knowledge and knowledge is power. Books are the tools that provide people with the power to build a bright future for themselves and their communities. Where would we be without disease-fighting scientists, inspirational teachers or life-saving doctors – and where would they be without books?

So if you’re reading this, please share this post or donate via my JustGiving page or just come down and cheer me on with Henry! I will be very grateful and you will be supporting a brilliant cause.


Huge thanks to Elaine for literally going that extra mile to support our work!

If you can, please support Elaine via her JustGiving page. We wish her the best of luck with the race and look forward to hearing how it went!