Vitality BATHALF runner at the heart of global relay in support of charity

February 23, 2015 // Andrew


A student of University of Bristol has gathered a troop of friends and family to run the Vitality Bath Half Marathon (Vitality BATHALF) – which takes place on Sunday 1st March – to raise money for Cancer Research UK and the UK Stem Cell Foundation, in honour of her Dad.

Ellie Cator’s Father, Charles Cator, was diagnosed with Mantle Cell Lymphoma in August, an aggressive form of Blastoid Mantle Cell Lymphoma. Ellie was inspired to race in the Vitality BATHALF as a way to personally raise money for UK Stem Cell Foundation.

Ellie invited as many friends and family members as possible to get involved in her challenge and was overwhelmed with the amount of support from friends and family around the world.

What started as the ambitious challenge of running the Vitality BATHALF in support of Ellie’s chosen cause, UK Stem Cell Foundation, will now see an international relay on 1st March – raising money for UK Stem Cell Foundation and Cancer Research UK.

Known as The Cator Troops, the baton for the relay will start with Ellie’s cousins in Sydney, Australia, then onto her sister Rosanna and the Hong Kong team. Next will be Ellie and the team in Bath and an Auntie in Ireland, and finally to her cousin Annabel in Vancouver Island, Canada.

There will be a total of 190 runners covering 84 miles, spanning four continents – all in one day to raise money for the two charities.

Ellie said: “My Dad was diagnosed with Mantle Cell Lymphoma in August, a very rare form of cancer and therefore continual research is being done to develop new and more effective treatment. It started off as a family venture to raise money for our Father and I chose the Bath Half Marathon as it was near to my university in Bristol.

“The Cator Troops started as a group of friends and family I had gathered together to run the Bath Half Marathon, but as everyone started to get involved it spiralled into a global relay. My sister who lives in Hong Kong didn’t want to sit on the side lines so single-handedly set up her own half marathon in Hong Kong. This started the global ball rolling and inspired other family members across the world to get involved.

“It’s been an incredible team effort and my whole family have been blown away by the support and energy that has encouraged this huge fund raising endeavour.”

Mel Taylor, Charity Director at the Vitality Bath Half Marathon, said: “It is so touching to discover why so many runners choose to participate in the Vitality BATHALF. Ellie is one of 15000 people who make the event something so special, raising money for causes that they truly believe in.”

This year’s featured charities are: Lead Race Charity, Teenage Cancer Trust; Official Fun Run Charity, Jamie’s Farm; Local Charity of the Year, Bath Rugby Foundation; and the Featured Appeal, RUH Forever Friends Appeal. In addition to the featured race charities, the organisers of the Vitality BATHALF work with more than 100 local and national charities and those who have a place in the race can still choose to raise money for any of them.

The Vitality Bath Half Marathon 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 Personal Best.

For further information on the Vitality BATHALF and this year’s official charities including featured charities and diamond bond charities, go to

To donate, visit Ellie’s Just Giving page