The production manager of a Deeside firm is putting his best foot forward to raise funds for a charity that’s close to his heart.
Martin Stevens from Rubicon Garden Rooms in Shotton has vowed to complete the 2017 Chester MBNA Half Marathon in May for the British Heart Foundation.
The 57-year-old was inspired to tackle the 13.1 mile challenge, his first half-marathon run, after watching the Chester Pride race, and to say thanks to the charity, which has helped close relatives.
The run, which starts at Chester racecourse and ends in the city centre, attracts thousands of runners from across the UK including top elite athletes who take just an hour to compete the route.
It raises funds for Claire House Children’s Hospice, which helps seriously and terminally ill children from Cheshire, North Wales and the Wirral. The 2016 race raised more than £500,000 for a variety of local and national charities.
Martin, a former engineer with Airbus, is now in training on roads near his home in Hawarden, plus playing five-a-side football with friends three times a week.
He said: “The British Heart Foundation (BHF) charity is very important to me, as several members of my wife’s family have suffered from heart problems.
“There is still so much research to be done in this field, and the BHF is doing some great work, while also helping to support those with heart problems.
“Several relatives of my wife Linda have suffered with heart disease and have been supported by the BHF.
“I was inspired partly to help the charity, and also after seeing those taking part in the Chester Pride event – many of the runners were clearly older than me, and some were even in their seventies.
“I thought to myself that if they could do that run, then I could a half marathon as well. I’ve set myself the challenge to get fit and run every week. I’ve discovered, though, that running can be quite lonely so I am looking to link up with other runners to help me keep on my training target.
“I’ll also be running to and from work when I can, as it’s a good distance from my home in Hawarden to our factory in Deeside Enterprise Park, Shotton.
“My colleagues have been very supportive, and nearer the time I will also be telling customers about the run, in case they wish to support me.”
Martin is aiming to complete the course, which takes in roads around Chester, in around two hours. The dad-of-one is production manager at Rubicon Garden Rooms, which makes leisure buildings at its factory in Rowley’s Drive, Shotton, for customers around the UK.
Managing director John Lyon said: “I’ve now Martin for years, since we both worked at Airbus – we have gone to work together at other companies.
“I am very impressed that he has taken on the challenge of taking part in the MBNA Chester Half Marathon, and it is inspiring me to consider what I can do in 2017 to raise funds for a charity.
“The whole team will be cheering Martin on and we will certainly be sponsoring him as well. I hope he is able to raise a large amount for the British Heart Foundation, which does such a lot of good work, and carries out important research.”
John drew on his years of engineering experience from working at Airbus and other aviation companies to create the designs for the garden rooms, which are made from zero maintenance wood fibre composite material.
Rubicon’s bespoke top-of-the-range units are now used for everything from home offices to art or music rooms, yoga studios, teenage dens and annexes for dependent relatives.
More details about Rubicon Garden Rooms at rubicongardenrooms.co.uk or call 01244 552813