Carol’s story

Matt was cared for at the Heart of Kent Hospice in Maidstone in 2021.

“The Heart of Kent Hospice is a wonderful caring and compassionate community who helped and supported both of us during our stay and they continue to provide me with support after Matt sadly passed away on 19th September 2021.

As a thank you for all the wonderful support we received under their care, I want to fundraise for the Hospice and embark on something meaningful in memory of Matt.

Matt and I used to run together; so, I set myself a challenge in 2022 to raise £5000 for the Hospice by running a couple of 10k races. I chose this distance because it was Matt’s favourite short running distance.

My running challenge took on the name “10K for Matt” and last year with my running shoes back on I started training with my goal in sight. My first Maidstone Road Run, I was joined by 40 other running friends, who also wanted to run in memory of Matt and to support my fundraising goal. We ran alongside all the other runners who were taking part, which was a truly memorable and emotional experience.

We all ran, proudly wearing our personalised badges with Matt’s motto “Be the best you can be” as this was at the forefront of everything he did. The run was a wonderful way to remember Matt and to raise money, so I have decided to make it an annual event. I will be wearing an updated badge at this year’s Maidstone Road Run: “Be the best you can in 2023”!

Matt was kind and gentle with a wonderful sense of humour and a can-do attitude that lifted everyone’s spirits and made you smile. Matt was a passionate runner, very well known in the running community. Matt spent many years managing The Sweatshop in Maidstone before setting up his own business “The Natural Running Project”. He was often referred to as ‘The Legend’ because of his experience in all aspects of running from gait analysis, nutrition, footwear to running styles.

Pose running” also known as bare foot running is a more energy efficient style of running and was hugely beneficial to Matt as it enabled him to continue running for longer, before being forced to hang up his running shoes for the last time.

I have to say, donning on my trainers after many years of not running has been eventful. I’ve taken a tumble, embarrassing more than hurting myself and I also tweaked my achilleas which temporarily halted my training. Thankfully I am back building the miles and looking forward to the next Maidstone Road Run and helping the Hospice raise the £4 million it needs every year to provide its invaluable free service to the Maidstone community.

Please sign up today and if you are running, look out for me, I’ll be wearing my “10k for Matt” badge!"

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