Bath woman continues running despite suffering from a brain haemorrhage

June 30, 2014 // Rachel Ellis

Sonia Beaverstock, aged 50, from Bath suffered a life-threatening brain haemorrhage whilst out running in 2009. Just five years on she is back in training and will be joining hundreds of runners taking part in the Vitality Bath Half Marathon (Vitality BATHALF) next March.

Sonia commented: “I am really lucky to be alive, the haemorrhage I suffered was life threatening and many people have died from similar situations, but I didn’t and I was determined that I would get on with my life.”

Sonia started running about ten years ago when she realised that her fitness was deteriorating despite eating healthily and being a non smoker. Her friend Tina, now running partner, signed them up for a local 5k run and she’s never looked back.

However, in 2009, Sonia and her running partner went for their normal Sunday morning jog. Little did she know that a mile down the road she would be suffering from a sudden brain haemorrhage that could be fatal.

She said: “As usual, I was running with Tina and we decided that it would be nice for our husbands to join us. We settled on completing a short distance, 2.5miles, to suit the fitness levels of our husbands.

“I suffered the haemorrhage whilst running although I didn’t fully understand what happened so I carried on for about 300 meters; luckily we weren’t far away from Tina’s house. I went home and within the next few hours ended up in Frenchay hospital, where I remained for the next two weeks.

“After the all clear from the hospital, I started running again about five months later. It was like starting from scratch all over again, but for me it proved I was on the road to a full recovery.”
Sonia took part in the Vitality BATHALF in 2014 and is back this year to do it all over again. Sonia is hoping to raise yet more money for the Dorothy House Hospice, who cared for her late mother.

She commented: “I wanted to take part in the Vitality BATHALF to prove that I could do it. I also wanted to raise money for Dorothy House Hospice who cared for my Mum. She was only 56 when she died and they gave her the dignity and respect she so greatly deserved in her last few months.”

Sonia raised £1500 for the charity last year, and hopes to beat that in 2015.

She added: “I had a target time of 2hours and 30minutes. Tina and I trained three times a week without fail, running on average fifteen and twenty miles a week. On the day of the half marathon, I felt fabulous, but Tina struggled from start to finish, I couldn’t leave her, so I pretty much dragged her to the finish line. I finished with a time of 2hours and 39 minutes – 9 minutes over my goal”.
Sonia will also be celebrating her 50th birthday in December this year and is desperate to reach her target time or under.

The Vitality BATHALF is one of the South West’s largest charity fundraising events and the 2014 event raised in excess of £2million for both local and national charities, once again increasing the fundraising total from the previous year.

2015 will see the event in its 34th year making it one of the oldest and well established road races in the country. The course offers runners a fast flat route straddling both sides of the River Avon taking runners on a tour around the picturesque city. The two lap course is perfect for both those new to running or experienced runners who are chasing a new PB.

The lead Charity for next year’s race has been confirmed as the Teenage Cancer Trust. Jamie’s Farm is the Official Fun Run Charity, Bath Rugby Foundation has been confirmed as Local Charity of the Year and the RUH Forever Friends Appeal will return as the Featured Appeal for the annual race.