Ty Hafan

#family friday

sam’s epic ‘seven in seven challenge’

Running one marathon is a challenge enough – but running seven marathons in seven days is on a whole other level. Here Sam Lewis, from Burry Port, explains why she took on her epic ‘Seven in Seven Challenge’ for Tŷ Hafan last month.

Hi! My name is Sam, and I live with my family in the very beautiful Burry Port in Carmarthenshire. Back in 2019 I changed my role in the South Wales Police and began working in an office with a pretty awesome lady named Vicky. We got talking and she told me how her son had Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy and that when he was diagnosed she received support from Tŷ Hafan.

seven in seven fundraiser burry port

She described the hospice as a positive, inclusive environment and how the staff were all amazing. The visit really gave her and her family a boost. I then went on to read about Tŷ Hafan and was completely blown away by the work they do. I was in awe to be honest. I read that in order to remain open the charity needed to raise over £5.2 million pounds a year, so that's what inspired me to think up my ‘Seven in Seven Challenge’. Seven marathons in seven days, an epic challenge to raise an epic amount of money.

My training began in August 2021. To make sure I trained properly I hired a running coach who gave me weekly plans to follow to build my fitness up in readiness for the challenge. Training consisted of lots of runs of various distances and some strength work.

To minimise the impact of all my training on my six-year-old son Charlie, I decided that I would have to get up anywhere from 4am to train so I could still take him to, and collect him from, school, as well as take him to his sports clubs and weekend activities with his friends and help him with schoolwork as usual.

I started my Seven in Seven Challenge on the 14th of April, meaning I ran throughout Easter weekend. I feel like I experienced the best and worst of the Welsh weather most days, and I definitely earned my daily post-run ice bath! Towards the end of the run my legs really were in so much pain, but I remained focused on my goal and the support of my family and friends really got me through.

seven in seven fundraiser burry portThe support I’ve received has been phenomenal. My sister, who hasn't cycled for many years even jumped on a bike to come on a run with me, only for her to fall in a ditch and needing me to pull her out! I want to thank my husband, Mark, for supporting me with this challenge. He thought I was crazy when I first suggested it, but he’s been cheering for me the whole way through. I’m grateful for the support my son has given me. He understood why I was running and the difference I wanted to make. I also want to thank my family and friends for all their messages of support and for cheering for me on in-person and from afar, it has been so very overwhelming. Thank you too, to Tŷ Hafan for being simply amazing - the help and support they provide to children and families, including my friend and her son is spectacular!

The last run was truly the hardest but the support that day was something I will never forget, from my husband and son cycling alongside me and my husband's perfect timing by jumping out from behind a bush with my hydration drink when I needed it the most and huge thanks to all the amazing people on the finish line.

I would honestly encourage anyone to support Tŷ Hafan. It is such an important and vital charity providing support for so many children and families, making such a difference and bringing a little bit of happiness in such challenging situations. The world is better when you hand out some kindness, and I always teach my son to be kind. Whether it's a smile or a thumbs up to someone, you never know who needs it.

A little bit of kindness can be a sponsored walk, run or absolutely anything to support Tŷ Hafan and allow them to continue their important work.