Competitor Stories – Keith Lewis


A regular look at some of the inspirational stories from some of our amazing DB Maxers……

This week it’s Keith Lewis who took part in the Chilly 10k with us.

‘In 2004 whilst at work I suffered a severe electric shock, leaving me with nerve damage which I still suffer to this day (no feeling in my lower right leg and some loss in my right hand). I spent almost a year in the Wessex Rehab Unit at Salisbury Hospital learning to get functions back to my right side and to help me walk properly again .

My wife suggested maybe to try running so I started the couch to 5k with my GP’s support…… began!!

In 2012 I completed the Sports Relief mile from there it was the Great South Run 2014 raising £1622 for The Wessex Rehab.

Trauma Care is a small NHS charity that aims to provide every patient across the country the same care in the treatment of severe trauma.

I was given the chance through Trauma Care to run the London Marathon in 2016 which I did closing the book on an amazing journey, and yes tears were shed!!

I still continue to run for fun and to raise monies for my chosen charity. Last year I ran the Great North & South Runs amongst others. I have currently raised over £3,300 via my Just Giving page because of the extremely good care I received, I can now run. So hopefully somebody else will get the same level of care I received due to trauma care, helping to raise a level of equal awareness throughout the NHS.

I really enjoyed the Chilly 10k and will definitely sign up for next year and I also hope to join you on the Chippenham Longest Day 10k run in June.’


Competitor Stories – Kirsty James


A regular look at some of the inspirational stories from some of our amazing DB Maxers……

This week it’s Kirsty James who took part in the Chilly Duathlon with us.

‘In September 2017 I was the only female in a team of 5 cyclists who cycled from London to Monte Carlo over 12 days. We had a support crew of 3 to help with our cooking and cleaning and we all camped along the route as we travelled across France.

We cycled to raise funds for a little boy called Noah Stephenson from Barry, South Wales. When Noah was 8 months old he contracted meningitis and almost lost his life. Throughout the illness he lost his lower left leg and the tips of his toes and fingers. He is now 5 years old and walks with a prosthetic limb; the funds raised will aid his future development to allow him to lead a normal and active life.

The weather was not kind while we cycled and we faced some tough conditions, but we all worked together to make the journey and raised approximately £4,000. This was the second cycling challenge that Noah’s father, Gareth had organised and taken part in, but the first event of this size that I had ever undertaken.

This year I am training for a half marathon purely for the mental challenge, however I cannot give up my two wheels, so I chose the DB Max Chilly Duathlon to combine the two disciplines on one event. I have a very supportive group of ladies that I train with and they have completed the Chilly event before. Their recommendations convinced me to give it a go.’


Competitor Stories – Lee & Alie


A regular look at some of the inspirational stories from some of our amazing DB Maxers……

This week it’s Lee & Alie who took part in the Chilly 10k with us.

They are raising money for Action Medical Research Children’s Charity and these are the reasons why:

‘Sadly back in December 2005, me and my ex wife lost a little girl who was born too early and asleep. I decided I wanted to try and help others not have to go through our experience so decided I wanted to run The London Marathon so I looked into charities and came across AMR.’

‘I lost a little boy in July 1997 who had a rare genetic condition and sadly was born asleep. My youngest child is Autistic with severe learning difficulties, severely delayed development and other ongoing issues. Autism is also an area that AMR do research into.’

They are running many events this year trying to raise as much as they can for this amazing charity. Lee will be attempting to break the world record as Paddington at Bath Half Marathon and they are both running the London Marathon in aid of the charity. Lee will once again be running as Paddington trying to break the world record and they also have 12 other Marathons already booked.

‘Me and Alie do lots of races (last year was 38) and I can honestly say that the Chilly 10k is up there with the best, so we will definitely be back.’

If you would like to donate to this fantastic cause please see the link below.

We look forward to seeing Paddington and Alie at another of our events and we will come prepared this time with a marmalade sandwich at the finish line!

Competitor Stories – Kevin Gani

A regular look at some of the inspirational stories from some of our amazing DB Maxers……

This week it’s Kevin Gani who took part in The Westonbirt House Christmas 10K with us.

‘In October 2015, the charity Mind offered me the chance to run the London Marathon in April 2016.  At that point, I had only ever completed 3 half marathons and would call myself a novice runner.  So much has changed in the last 2 years.  I am now a qualified running leader supporting the amazing Kingsway Runners.  I have completed 5 marathons and over 50 half marathons.  I have raised £8,500 for Mind, £500 for Cancer Research UK and £2000 for Backcare UK.  In April 2018, I will lead a team of 10 runners into the London marathon with a team target of £13,000.  Running is excellent for our health and wellbeing, however more importantly you meet new friends and share truly memorable experiences together.’


Competitor Stories – Sara Chardin

A regular look at some of the inspirational stories from some of our amazing DB Maxers……

This week it’s Sara Chardin who took part in The Westonbirt House Christmas 10K with us.

‘Our team from Stroud District Council ran The Westonbirt House 10k to raise awareness of the dangers of nut allergies, while raising much-needed funds for the Amy May Trust. The Trust has been set up to help fund the continual rehabilitation and medical needs of Amy May Shead, who suffered a severe brain injury through catering negligence, as a result of a nut allergy. Our team is made up of Sara Chardin, Emma Blomfield, Helen Johnstone, Pippa Stroud and Ian Bird.


The reason for running is a personal one as Amy May Shead’s is my cousin. Amy managed her severe life-long nut allergy with care, but didn’t let it stop her living life to the full. She was a talented producer on ITV’s This Morning. On a weekend break to Budapest in 2014, she took the first bite of a meal, which she was assured didn’t contain nuts. She immediately experienced a catastrophic anaphylaxis reaction, which led to cardiac arrest. As a result, Amy sustained a severe brain injury due to being starved of oxygen for six minutes.


During the three years since the incident, Amy has progressed slowly, but surely, from being in a coma in ICU in a London hospital, via a neurological rehabilitation hospital to a specialist care facility in Essex. The next move planned for Amy will be to live with her parents, who are in the process of adapting a new home.


Due to the restaurant in Budapest not holding public liability insurance, and travel insurance not covering her lifelong condition, there is no compensation for this life-changing and devastating tragedy. The Amy May Trust has been set up to fund the much-needed therapies (speech and language therapy and physiotherapy). Amy is unable to communicate, but it is clear she understands everything that is going on around her. Sara has seen for herself what a visible difference these treatments are making to Amy’s life.


Another member of the team, Emma Blomfield, is an EpiPen carrier herself. Only recently diagnosed with a nut allergy, Emma is especially keen to spread awareness of how dangerous this allergy can be.’


The team from Stroud District Council are grateful to anyone who would like to donate. They have already raised over a £1000. Donations can be made online: 


Competitor Stories – Diane Bentham

A regular look at some of the inspirational stories from some of our amazing DB Maxers……

This week it’s Diane Bentham who took part in The proto-col Chilly 10k with us.

‘As a 55-year-old blind woman I never dreamt that I could become a runner until I joined “VI runners Bristol“. This is a group set up by Colin Johnson, he has organised a team of guides to train and run with visually impaired people. I joined the group in May 2017 and I have completed 4 Park runs and the Castle Combe chilly 10k. I love running and if I can do it anyone can’.


Competitor Stories – Iain Mazonowicz

A regular look at some of the inspirational stories from some of our amazing DB Maxers……

This week it’s Iain Mazonowicz who took part in The proto-col Chilly 10k with us.

‘The 10k Chilly at Castle Coombe was my race 10 of 30 in my Run 30 for 30 challenge. It started back on the 3rd of August when I turned 30. I decided that I would run in 30 races to help support a local cause. Each of the races I have completed so far have been of varied lengths- 5k, 10k and half (my first Marathon is next year in Newport). I am raising money for the Great Western Hospital Brighter Futures Radiotherapy Appeal. So far we have raised over £600 and aim to make well over £1500. I have competed dressed up and have travelled quite a distance in my running garb (and the odd fancy dress) to challenge myself and to raise awareness for this great cause. My just giving page is’


Competitor Stories – Linzi Findlater

A regular look at some of the inspirational stories from some of our amazing DB Maxers……

This week it’s Linzi Findlater who took part in The proto-col Chilly 10k with us.

‘Everyone hears of cancer and the horror stories surrounding it. I found a lump in my breast in Sept 2015, thought I best get it checked out.  My doctor booked me into the breast clinic. Once all the tests had been done I went for the results, still no care in the world and a positive mind set(with a plan to head out for lunch with my chap and enjoy the rest of my day off). Imagine my surprise when my consultant dropped the bomb shell! I’d gone right off my lunch by this point and my roller coaster of emotions, surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy began.

Hope for tomorrow gave me the option to choose where I had my chemotherapy treatment, this made me feel a little more in control of a situation where I knew I  had to hand myself over to the medical profession. DB Max has given me the opportunity to give something back to a service where words will never be enough! Thank you!

I’ve been given the all clear and training for this 10k has helped me get stronger in mind and body.’

Competitor Stories – Gareth Channings

A regular look at some of the inspirational stories from some of our amazing DB Maxers……

This week it’s Gareth Channings and his friends and family who took part in The proto-col Chilly 10k with us. They are all raising money for Gareth’s son.


‘I ran the last Chilly 10k at Castle Combe and thoroughly enjoyed it, so signed up again this year. My son Jack has Duchennes Muscular Dystrophy ( DMD ) and I thought this would be a good way of fundraising for him . I also thought it would be fun to get a group of us together to do it, as well as getting a few unlikely people up and running!! We are raising money for Jackjustwantstobe so the family home can be adapted and extended to cope with Jacks ever changing medical needs, please feel free to look him up and follow him on Facebook plus we have a Go Fund page

I would like to say a massive thank you to DB Max events for all their help and support with putting this together.’


‘I know Jack through his Dad Gareth who is my boss. I understand Jack is a very happy little lad who just gets on with his life although he has duchenne’s, (progressive muscle weakness). Gareth is a very fair boss who remains professional even though he has everything going on at home. I understand Jacks disease and can’t imagine what the family and the little lad are going through… he is a true credit and is proving you must make the most of every day!’


‘I ran the 10k for my nephew Jack who has Duchennes Muscular dystrophy . He means the world to me and my family . Like any little boy he wants to live at home with his family . In order to make this happen we need to raise enough money to build an extension on the house that allows for hoists and specialist equipment such as ventilators and a specialist bed. We appreciate every penny that has been donated either through his just giving page or by sponsoring one of the other very special people that support us as a family in this difficult journey . Please feel free to check out his Facebook page Jackjustwantstobe to understand further his condition.’


Competitor Stories – Samantha Evans

A regular look at some of the inspirational stories from some of our amazing DB Maxers……

This week it’s Samantha Evans who took part in the Westonbirt House 10K with us.

‘The big C hit me totally off guard. A happy healthy single mummy to a wonderful two year old, a well accomplished staff sergeant with 19 in the British Army on the brink of commission as a late entry soldier.

In Feb 2015, a small area of tissue felt different, on visiting the doctors I was told it was nothing to worry about so I left it. By August 2016 it was still there so I pushed for a referral to the Thirlestaine clinic in Cheltenham. A few days later my world fell apart. After an ultrasound, mammogram and a few biopsies I was told I had to wait for the official results but I would start my care program in my next visit.

I sat in the car and cried. Would I get to see my beautiful daughter go to school? How do I tell my family and friends?

Three weeks later I was called back for my results. My surgeon was the one to tell me and she was amazing. Judged me perfectly. She was straight talking and had my plan for treatment all ready.

Within the week I started chemotherapy and the long road to recovery. Chemotherapy was awful, but every time it got painful or too much I would remind myself that it would all be worth it.

And it was now in Aug 2017, after 6 rounds of chemotherapy, a full mastectomy and rebuild and 3 weeks of radiotherapy I am back out running and enjoying life.

I could not have done it with my family and friends, especially my mum Fiona Poulter. My rock through it all looking after my daughter, dog and I for most of it. She has had a harder year than me. So to all carers out there, Thank you.’