A charity fundraising event in support of the British Heart Foundation (BHF) has been organised to help mend broken hearts. The event organised by volunteers from the Handsworth BHF Fundraising Group takes place on Sunday 17 September to raise funds for the BHF.

John Doherty, age 53, an accountant who lives in Sutton Coldfield has a really special reason for taking part in the Handsworth Park 10K Fun Run this year. John began training with the Boathouse Runners 3 years ago and registered for the following year’s fun run. However, when he was training, he noticed he really struggled at times and had difficulty breathing. Luckily, he visited his GP for a check-up and was quickly diagnosed with Angina and fast tracked for treatment, resulting in an angiogram and a stent being fitted. Due to his condition, he was unable to take part in the event and another person took his place and completed the run on John’s behalf.

John said: “The doctor said I was like a time bomb – a heart attack waiting to happen! I am really glad that I had the check-up and was diagnosed quickly. Since my health scare, I have worked hard to lose 2 stone in weight and started to run again recently to improve my fitness levels. The Boathouse Runners is a really supportive group, we run in pairs and tend to talk all the way round which regulates our breathing and helps us to get fit without really noticing. I am now looking forward to taking part in the Fun Run myself”.

Advance registration for the Handsworth Park 10K Fun Run is now open. This Fun Run starts at 10.30am with the warm up commencing at 10.00am in Handsworth Park, Holly Road, Birmingham. The whole of the route is within the lovely landscaped park so there are no roads to tackle. Advance entry is available until 10 September and costs £10.00, on the day entry will cost £15.00. To guarantee a place, the quickest and easiest way is to register online via the BHF Website

To enable people to get fit and prepare for the event, people can join the local running group called the Boathouse Runners which meet at 8.30am and 10.00am on Sundays in Handsworth Park for free weekly running sessions. For more information about the training sessions view the training and preparation section at

Donna Stokes BHF Fundraising Manager said: “This is a real community event with a lovely atmosphere. Tony Hayes and his family and friends are all part of the Handsworth BHF Fundraising Group and organise this event in memory of Pete Hayes, Tony’s son who tragically passed away with a heart infection at the age of 25. After hearing Pete’s story from a colleague at work, John Morris, age 53, from Handsworth Wood was inspired to register for the event and has also recently joined the Boathouse Runners.

This is the fourth time this event has taken place and last year, nearly 200 people took part and raised over £6,700 for the charity which is a fantastic achievement. This event is an excellent opportunity for people to show their support to get together with friends, family, colleagues or simply challenge yourself. It does not matter if you walk, jog or run, what matters is that you take part, sign up to the challenge and help to raise essential funds to enable the BHF to save more lives.”