My brother Danny died in 2010 of a brain tumour.
He was 36 years old and left an unfillable, Danny-shaped hole in our world.
Some months after his death, his family came up with the idea of an annual running race dedicated to Danny, with the aim of raising money for charity, raising awareness of the horrors of brain tumours and giving his grieving family and friends something to focus their collective energies on. And so Danny’s Dash was born.
The response from friends, family and local businesses totally overwhelmed us from the start. Sponsorship of the event in the form of money, logistics, prizes and manpower flooded in and the event would have been a far smaller affair without all the support.
The event gave everyone that knew Danny the opportunity to come together in his name, shed a few tears, have a few laughs and send a big fat cheque off to Brain Tumour Research. We have raised £13,000 in the past five years, a fact that Danny would have been proud of.
So why are we stopping? Danny’s Dash 2016 was a new course, a new HQ and the event had a very different feel to it from a volunteer organisers’ point of view. A small, but very vocal minority among the runners took it as their opportunity to moan to the volunteers about everything from the course, the freebies, the prizes - you name it, someone moaned about it.
Everyone there is a volunteer, giving up a significant slice of their free time to make the event happen. We are aware that every runner there thinks that the event is all about them, but as I have described, Danny’s Dash has a very different meaning for those involved in its organisation.
The behaviour of this unfortunate minority group was not a fitting tribute to Danny, and they are not worthy of all the effort that is put in to the event. So we will proudly send another cheque to Brain Tumour Research, look back with immense pride at what Danny’s Dash has achieved over the five years and look forward to our new fundraising and awareness-raising venture.
Thank you to everyone that has helped Danny’s Dash happen. Paul Greenwood (Pag), the Carpet Factory, Dave and Stef the photographers, 156 squadron Air Cadets, Kerry and Sally the tea dollies, all the family members who donated money, especially Alex and Stacey Cooper who should have spent it on their new daughter instead. The Jolly Boys always came out to marshal, Nige was ever-reliable on the water station, and the list of folk who did dodgy deals with Rob to provide prizes goes on and on.
Thank you to all the runners who have participated in the true spirit of Danny’s Dash. Our advice to the rest is - next time you feel the need to approach event organisers with your ‘feedback’, think really, really carefully about what you are going to say before you open your mouth. No amount of clicking ‘like’ on Facebook after the event can undo the negativity you left behind on the day.
Onwards and upwards. Our new event plan, in conjunction with Brain Tumour Research is really exciting and will be held in Danny’s old stamping ground of Plymouth.
Strength and Honour.