Looking for some New Year inspiration? Let us take you back to warmer times when Philip Bergqvist, a former Trustee of Against Breast Cancer, and his intrepid family and friends took on a big challenge and raised over £12,000 in memory of his late wife Sarah.
Phil, his children and various family friends ran or cycled the 60 kilometres from Dundee to Perth on what would have been Sarah’s 60th birthday. The family also took part in 60 things Sarah loved in 2023. Phil’s son Jack recollects their wonderful family challenge:
The family WhatsApp group lights up at an ungodly hour. It’s called the “GordAddVists”; made up for GORTons, ADDis’s and BergqVISTS. An emergency with Mum’s sister Moo’s family (a Gorton) in Perth perhaps? Or is it Mum’s brother Dickon (an Addis) texting at a leisurely hour across the world in Singapore? It turns out to be the latter.
Dickon is letting us know that 2023 is the year in which Mum would have turned 60. After some back and forth on WhatsApp, a few hours and (coffees) later, Moo and Dickon have come up with a wonderful way to celebrate this milestone. The idea is to compile a list of sixty things that remind us of Mum (also known as “Sarah” to those who aren’t her children), to be completed throughout the year, is agreed upon. The list grows over the next few months, with ideas ranging from building Lego to making (and eating!) chocolate biscuit cake.
Whilst this is happening, something is bubbling in the background. We (Bergqvists) grew up in an environment, after Mum passed, that was full of fun and fond memories of Dad persistently putting on the pink T-shirt of Against Breast Cancer, and running marathon after marathon, raising so much for such a good cause.
The thought came to us. Maybe we could do this? Let’s pair the sentimental with the insane. Mum’s 60th birthday; 60KM run.
We rope in the locals, the Scots (Gortons) in our family; those with all the knowledge, to find a path and make this thought a reality. And they did just that.
We end up deciding on running from where Mum was born in Dundee hospital, to where she grew up in Blairgowrie, a way off 60kms away. A few expert tweaks of an OS map by Moo, Will, Jamie and Steve (Gorton) and we’ve got a 60KM route. A pilgrimage of preposterous proportions.
Sentimentality seems to permeate every level of this epic; there is an element of sentimentality in the challenge of running itself. Growing up and watching Dad run so much for a broken heart was awe-inspiring. Dad ran for Mum, for love and for his family. He ran for any other family that is, or could be, affected by breast cancer. We want to do just that too.
“The challenge was equal parts sentimental and tough. The whole family turned up and everyone we encountered and spoke to wished us well; we even got a few donations from local farmers! It was a huge success; it was a form of catharsis and a way of connecting with someone we lost so long ago but who will always be remembered”
If you are feeling inspired, get started with your fundraising by downloading a fundraising pack.