On Saturday 23 November, for the first time ever, the iconic Twickenham Stadium plays host to the Twickenham Stadion Race, an amazing 5K challenge from Spartan Race UK asking participants to run, crawl and climb in aid of Shooting Star Children’s Hospices.

We’ve been announced as the official charity partner of Spartan Race UK, the leading obstacle race and endurance brand, for the first ever Twickenham Stadion Race held in the world famous rugby stadium.

The race is open to all ages and abilities and tasks super Spartans to face a 5K course complete with 20 exciting obstacles. There is even a special Spartan Kids race for children from 4 – 13 years old – with a wealth of obstacles and even some spear throwing! What’s more signing up with us means you will save on sign up fees – meaning it’s a great event for the whole family to take part in – especially as children’s places are free.

Six-year-old Alex and his younger sister Maisie, who’s three (soon to be four!) are taking on the Spartan Kids race in memory of their baby cousin Jack who died in May, aged just 26 days old.

Jack was born on 26 April with holes in his lungs and chronic kidney disease, spending the first 18 days of his short life in three different hospitals. On day 19 his parents, Kirsty and Michael were told the devastating news that he was being moved to a hospice for end-of-life care. Jack was transferred to Christopher’s, our Guildford hospice.

Jack’s mum Kirsty from West Byfleet said, “When arriving at Christopher’s hospice our family were greeted and looked after from the first second. We got to make memories with Jack that we never thought possible. We got to make memory casts of his hands and pictures that we will cherish forever. The staff looked after Jack like he was their own, sitting and cuddling him all night so we could get some sleep. The physical, mental and emotional support they gave us and our family is out of this world. Jack had a life because of the hospice and we thank them for the 7 days we got spend with our baby as a family.”

When Alex and Maisie’s mum Amy asked if they wanted to raise money for Shooting Star Children’s Hospices by taking part in the Twickenham Stadion Race, the siblings didn’t hesitate to say yes.

Amy, from Hanworth said, “They are very active, outdoorsy children and when we watched some videos of other Spartan Kids races they were really excited by them. They can’t wait to see what the challenges are!” Alex and Maisie will be joined by their six-year-old friend Jessica and be cheered on by the family. “Alex says he’s looking forward to running as fast as he can, and Maisie is looking forward to climbing over lots of things!”

Thinking ahead to the race Amy said, “We’ve been practising running and jumping over things in the garden, and practising on climbing frames and balance beams in the play park.” And afterwards? “I’m sure there will be lots of cakes to refuel afterwards – and they are also looking forward to getting their Shooting Star Children’s Hospices Spartan inspired temporary tattoos at the end.”

Shooting Star Children’s Hospices hope to raise £50,000 for the Twickenham Stadion Race so they can continue to provide a lifeline for the families they support, including practical and emotional care for the whole family. With only 10% of their income from government funding they rely on their supporters generosity to raise the difference to ensure their service keeps running and they can continue to provide support for family’s like Jack’s.

Amy concluded, “The time at Christopher’s was the only time Alex and Maisie got to meet Jack as they weren’t allowed to see him in hospital – it was a beautiful day. Shooting Star Children’s Hospices continue to support our family, providing amazing aftercare for Jack’s parents, Kirsty and Michael and his 3-year-old sister Isla. They provide an invaluable service in what is the worst possible situation and make this as easy and calming as possible. I can’t praise them enough for what they did for Jack and our family.”

You and your family fancy taking on the Twickenham Stadion Race? There is still time to sign up!

You can support Alex and Maisie’s fundraising efforts by visiting their donation page – www.justgiving.com/fundraising/alexandmaisiejc