Big Fun Run in Bow

The 2019 Event

You can become a FUN-draising hero as part of the pressure-free and community-themed Victoria Park 5k Big Fun Run 2019 this October!

As we know you have the running and fundraising bug, we’d love you to get involved in this year’s event as:

  • A runner and fundraiser for our team
  • A volunteer on the day to help us set up and cheer on our team
  • A supporter offering donations to our Big Fun Run team members

Convinced? You can...

Remember, the first 10 places available to take part are FREE and otherwise, fees range from as little as just £14-£16, so sign up now! Thank you! 

Why We Need You

Whether running, jogging or walking, you can make us proud by taking part and raising money (or sponsoring a team member and donating to us) within this year’s 5k Big Fun Run in Victoria Park on Sunday 20 October 2019!

If you need reasons to take part and find out more, you can take a look below at our guide for Big Fun entrants and those sponsoring them, which includes:

Who Our Runners Are Fundraising For

Sister Catherine Msoni’s Story

Meet Sister Catherine Msoni. A food bank worker from Tower Hamlets, Sister Catherine Msoni is now walking again mostly unaided after surviving the 2017 London Bridge terror attack in Borough Market.

Waiting for a bus outside Southwark Cathedral on Saturday 3 June 2017 - which saw eight people lose their lives during the terrorist incident - Sister Catherine was knocked to her feet and experienced significant lower leg injuries and bruising after a van hit a metal pole beside the bus shelter she’d been standing beside.

Since traumatised with vivid nightmares and flashbacks in addition to her physical injuries, just over two years on, Sister Catherine was determined to recover and has since worked at our gym on her wellbeing and exercise rehabilitation, so much so that she can even walk unaided.

Are you able to help support our life-changing work for people like Sister Catherine through the Big Fun Run? 

Albie’s Story

Meet Albie. In 2013 he was diagnosed with multiple myeloma cancer and in a wheelchair. Today, he's walking again! 

Albie's diagnosis is incurable. He developed a terminal tumour in his back which fractured his spinal cord in two places. 

Albie's Remarkable Recovery

This left the former professional dancer and choreographer in hospital for seven and a half months. Since being released and joining our Ability Bow gym, he's been making an incredible recovery while living with cancer.

He is now partially paralysed and has weaknesses to his lower limbs.

Albie now has ongoing chemotheraphy treatment once a month at various hospitals; but none of his diagnosis has stopped him from giving back to us and he's hoping once again to take part in this year's 2019 Big Fun Run (after previous efforts in 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2018). 

You can be like Albie. You can help him and others to keep all of our gym members fitter and stronger, for longer, just by taking part in this year's Big Fun Run! 

Reece Kempley’s Story

Meet Reece. In 2018, the 24-year-old ex-trainee football coach was on holiday with friends in Corfu when his life changed forever; he was pushed off a pier in a prank which left him with initial paralysis from the neck down.

Requiring emergency surgery for a devastating spinal injury, he returned to the UK and after struggling to find specialist rehabilitation, he joined our gym last year for intensive exercise, where he’s since been able to become an independent wheelchair user.

Now generating the confidence to tackle his emotional as well as physical challenges, Reece - who lives locally in Tower Hamlets - is now confident he can make steps towards his dream career again and is grateful he can feel the strength to just ‘get up and face the day’ thanks to our gym.

Will you reach out to support Reece on his recovery journey? 

Kim Cousins’ Story

Meet Kim. Diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease in 2017, the condition changed how she looked at life. 

The 60-year-old Limehouse resident found it difficult to know where to turn thereafter and while she felt it was a blessing in disguise to just know what she was experiencing, living with the currently incurable condition meant she had to explore practical and emotional support options.

And after feeling she couldn’t tackle her physical health challenges during her first session at Ability Bow in January this year, Kim thus received specialist expert personal training support from fully qualified disability gym instructor Tony Snook; with Kim feeling the gym has ‘saved her life’ and enabled her to remove stigma and ‘take away disability’ from her diagnosis.

Do you match Kim’s all about ability exercise attitude? 

Karl Jarvis’ Story

Meet Karl. An ex-restaurant and bar owner who moved to Thailand, he experienced a horrific motorbike accident in April 2009 which left him in a coma and near death.

After receiving emergency support in intensive care in both Thailand and the UK, Karl was left in ‘a really dark place’ before joining our disabilities and long-term health conditions gym in 2016.

And since joining our inclusive exercise service, Bow-based Karl - who lives with a severe brain injury which has restricted his speech - has been able to benefit from expert rehabilitation at Ability Bow; which has led him to move from a wheelchair to beginning to walk again.

Can you spare some cash to help people like Karl rebuild their lives at our gym?

Ryon Clarke’s Story

Meet Ryon. Possessing many talents, Ryon felt he was destined for sport and particularly football.

Though while offered the opportunity to join Tottenham Hotspur Football Club academy at school, Ryon favoured cricket. During a school match, he broke his back and his life altered thereafter.

Living with Spondylolisthesis and requiring consistent specialist surgery throughout adulthood to manage his spinal and back injuries, Ryon, 36, wanted to manage his exercise equally effectively and thus joined Ability Bow last September.

And the disability DJ - who’s secured a number 6 hit within ReverbNation’s Greater London music charts - feels since exercising with our service, he’s aided his anxiety and got his ‘life back again’; and the confidence to perform daily tasks at home through exercise such as showering or preparing a meal.

Will you run, jog, or walk an extra mile (or 3.1) at the Big Fun Run for people like Ryon? 

How You Can Help

If you’re participating in the Big Fun Run...

Where you’ll start from: Our instructors lead the pre-race warm-up beside the Hertford Union Top Lock No.1 entrance, while we also supply lead cyclists and marshals along the route. Your support for the event can help us maintain our vital physical exercise services for our members.

Date/time: Sunday 20 October 2019, 11am (all runners will need to attend at the park from 10:30am for registration).

Who can enter: As mentioned, it’s open to all! You can run, jog, walk, crawl, or take a buggy around with you (it’s that inclusive!).

Other benefits: Under-5’s go free, a winner’s medal and a chance to run and get social. Most importantly, the chance to make a lasting difference to our charity by taking part on the day!

Pledge level: £100 (but that doesn’t stop you from going towards as high an amount as you would like to raise for us).

How to enter: If you haven't subscribed to one of our charity places available at the top of this page via the 'Take Part In The Big Fun Run 2019 now'/or you find there's no places left, yet you’d still like to run with your own place:

How you can fundraise: You can...

What to wear on the day: Season-appropriate clothes (including a jacket) would be advised, as well as t-shirt/jogging bottoms (or shorts if you’re brave!)

The Route

On Sunday 20 October 2019, our amazing Big Fun Run entrants will be having a super-fun time tackling what is regarded as London’s ‘People’s Park’ in Victoria Park, Bow.  

Running, jogging, walking (or even crawling) across 3.1 miles (or 5k) of the beautiful east London parkland within what will be an idyllic autumn setting come event-day, the fast and flat course will start from near the Hertford Union Top Lock No.1 before progressing anti-clockwise along the south west side of the park.

Cheered by Big Fun Run volunteers throughout, entrants will move parallel past the Hertford Union Canal and head through a spectacular tree-laden avenue, before navigating a hairpin turn and then enjoying highlights including the Victoria Park bandstand, wildlife-rich East Lake and vibrant Old English Garden.

Now tackling the north east section of the 174-year-old park, event participants will then head left near the event starting point, before passing the most northerly entrance at Victoria Park and along another fast and straight stretch which returns to the park’s central section of the course.

Following the previous route alongside the bandstand, lake and garden but in the opposite direction, entrants will then tackle the south westerly hairpin and Hertford Canal-based finish straight once more before triumphantly declaring themselves winners (whatever method or time) at the start-finish line.

If you would like to volunteer to help out on the day…

Rather just watch and cheer us on? At each event we have a healthy number of cheery fans lining the route to support our super Big Fun Run Ability Bow fundraising team, as well as people helping to serve teas and coffees at our gazebo (while also making others feel welcome on the day by meeting and greeting our wider team).

If you’d like to become one of our vital volunteers on the day to man our gazebo or line the route with your super support:

If you’re sponsoring us

As you’ve read, your donations are vital to us and people like Albie, Sister Catherine, Reece and many others involved in our bustling health and wellbeing community.

We rely on your vital funds and we’re aiming to raise a further £2,00-£3,000 from this event towards the cost of maintaining what is inner London’s only remaining disabilities and long-term health conditions exercise service for 2019-20.

So if you feel you’d like to fund us to keep our members fitter and stronger, for longer:

*Please note we will be making individual Big Fun Run entrants’ fundraising pages available for you to donate to here.*

Why We Need You/How Your Fun Run Donations Will Help

  • £25 could pay for an instructor to deliver a group disability exercise session at our gym
  • £63 could pay for a 1:1 exercise session with one of our specialist fully qualified instructors

Raising Over £100…

  • £126 could pay for two 1:1 exercise sessions with one of our specialist fully qualified instructors
  • £200 could pay for an instructor to deliver eight group disability exercises sessions at our gym

Keeping Updated With The Event

Wondering what to do if you can’t make the event on the day?

We’ll be aiming to post some live updates on the day to showcase how we’re all getting on via our social media channels including Facebook and Twitter (both @abilitybow).

In the meantime, why not follow and keep updated with our service and supporters, including on:

More About The Event

Still unsure or need to find out more about the event?

Thanks to all involved and we hope to see you on 20th October!