A little while back, we may have mentioned that the team at Archway are all about supporting the local community and promoting good causes. Well over the last few months it’s been the other way around, and we are delighted! On Sunday the 19th of March, our own Phil Johnson – affectional known as drummer boy’ for his passionate drumming for Reading FC – and Allister dragged themselves off the sofa to run in the Reading Half Marathon. Propped up by his friends and family, he went from couch potato to running 13.1 miles in 3 hours and 2 minutes.
Phil’s story starts under 12 months ago, when Phil’s mother, Ruth Johnson, was tragically taken from us by the Big C – cancer. Ruth Johnson was truly an amazing lady –a dedicated teacher, a loving wife and mother and a committed fundraiser. In her many years teaching Religious Education at Highdown and Alfred Sutton schools, Ruth always took her time to give her students extra help and support. She was a big supporter of the Salvation Army, and raised thousands over the years through door collections. Not content to support just 2 good causes, Ruth also enjoyed helping people from all walks of life, running a club for retired people and frequently visiting with retirees and lending a hand whenever she saw someone in need. She was a truly wonderful woman, and even when diagnosed with cancer, she battled on for many years to continue to do good, staying strong and positive. In April last year she passed away peacefully, surrounded by the people who loved her the most.
For Phil, Ruth’s passing was a very difficult time. But when the chance to embrace the grief and do some good in her name came along, he knew what he had to do. Despite hating the idea of running and being generally unfit, Phil pulled on the lyrca and laced up his trainers to run the Reading Half Marathon, raising money for Cancer Research UK in honour of his mum. Phil threw himself into his training like a man possessed – getting up at the crack of dawn every day to run increasingly long distances, all in the name of his wonderful mother. He reached out to his family, friends and business contacts for not only moral support, but donations towards his chosen charity. And boy, did they deliver.
A Heartfelt Thankyou
Running this half marathon was not an easy thing for Phil, who was not a big runner, but thanks to the help, support and sometimes pushing of his family, friends and business contacts, he managed to do an amazing thing. Even though the marathon is now over, the donations are still pouring in for this fantastic cause. At the moment, the total stands at £1,610. Now that he’s recovered from his monumental performance on the track, Phil would like to say a few words:
‘ Thank you so much to every single person who donated money, helped me train, cheered me on or even gave without really knowing me. Your support has been staggering and I couldn’t have done it without any of you. We’ve raised a really good amount of money to take the fight to cancer and I can’t thank you all enough. Now i’m heading for a hot bath and a nice long relax!’
Even though the Reading Half marathon is over, the fight against cancer never rests. Every year, 163,444 lose their fight with cancer, leaving the world a little less bright. You can still help make a difference by supporting Phil and donating to his JustGiving page. Every penny takes us one step closer to beating this vicious disease, so please, help us take a stand in the fight against cancer.
And once again, thank you to everyone who has supported Phil in his journey.