Shane Naish Daily Dash for Sue Ryder Palliative Care

Shane Naish completes the Daily Dash for Sue Ryder Palliative Care

If you know our Operations Director, Shane Naish, you’ll likely also know that he’s a keen runner. What started as a way to improve general fitness has become a real passion for Shane, and this passion has led him to raise funds for some fantastic charities over the years. Most recently he completed the December Dash for Sue Ryder Palliative Care, in memory of his sister and father.

Shane shared his experience of taking part in this challenge.

Shane, tell us about how you became part of the December Daily Dash.

My sister Debbie had amyloidosis, and we sadly lost her in 2018. She was taken care of by the team at the Sue Ryder Palliative Care Hub in South Oxfordshire, just for a couple of days. I’d never been into a hospice before. They were brilliant people, and I have a great deal of respect for the work they do every day. I didn’t realise at the time that these hospices, so crucial to providing end of life care, are funded only through donations and fundraising.

Sue Ryder, which specialises in palliative care and support for the bereaved, raises money every year through this charity run initiative. The challenge is to do a “dash” of 5 kilometres every day for the whole month, with participants running, walking or cycling to complete the challenge.

The first event I took part in for Sue Ryder was a Royal Parks Half Marathon in London. I am a keen runner, and supporting this fantastic charity seemed a good reason to complete a half marathon.

Then, in 2022, I did the December Daily Dash for the first time, and decided to do it again last year. Dad had passed away between the two. He wasn’t in a Sue Ryder facility, but I wanted to undertake the challenge to remember them both this time.

How did you find the experience, and was it easier the second time?

It was difficult both times! Over the month, it gets a good bit easier once we pause operations at IDL for the Christmas break. Before then my runs, at least on weekdays, had to be early in the morning, with not much light.

It wasn’t any easier the second time, but that was because I upped my game. I always like to push myself, it’s a trait I apply to most things I undertake. I managed about 150KM of running the first time around and I thought, I’ve got to achieve more than that this time. The runs are logged and tracked on the website, and I managed 227KM the second time, which is 142 miles.

There was also a smaller amount of logged walking and cycling in addition to that. On Christmas Eve, for instance, I did my run but also logged a 5-mile walk with my wife Karen and our dogs. On Christmas Day I ran with my running club Runneymede Runners, who had organised a Turkey Trot holiday run. It was quite fun and festive. My wife’s a nurse and I borrowed some of her scrubs which were suitably festively decorated. My daughter, Carolyn, also joined us; she wore a “Ho Ho Ho” T-shirt and a Santa hat.

Shane Naish Daily Dash for Sue Ryder Palliative Care

Overall the experience was rewarding as well as difficult. If I do another, I think I’m going to have to up the ante again. I’m not competitive against other people, but I am when it comes to myself.

Had you been involved in any charity runs before all of this?

Yes, certainly. I took up running in 2012, and my first ever 5K was a charity run in 2013. I couldn’t walk the next day!

Anyway, that was the Mundays 5K, an annual charity event which various IDL team members took part in for many years. By chance really, that was for a similar charity – Princess Alice Hospice. You can see me here on the IDL website in fact, though the picture’s not from 2013. This was not a purely personal project – IDL has put forward a team every year since 2013.

Has it been a positive experience, participating with Sue Ryder and The December Daily Dash?

Yes, definitely. It’s great to be helping something important and worthwhile, whilst also remembering lost loved ones. These kinds of challenges also encourage me to push myself. That’s true whatever level of fitness you start out at. One man who had been quite ill was doing a long run. He wasn’t aiming for any records, but I thought, if he can do something, the rest of us can too, so I’d urge anyone to join in in some way.

More information…

To learn more about Sue Ryder, click here.

For general info about the December Daily Dash, click here.

To see the personal page for Shane’s 2023 December Daily Dash, click here. Note – at time of writing, anyway, the big blue DONATE button towards the top of Shane’s page is still active. I’m sure he’d be delighted if we managed to organise an extra donation or two.