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Church Street doctor duo get in shape to raise cash for breast unit and Children in Need

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Bishops Stortford. Dr Sian Stanley raised cash for Children in Need by doing the Nuclear Races. .Pic: Vikki Lince. (11852550)
Bishops Stortford. Dr Sian Stanley raised cash for Children in Need by doing the Nuclear Races. .Pic: Vikki Lince. (11852550)

Muddy challenges for charity have been completed by two GPs at Bishop's Stortford's Church Street Medical Centre.

Practice partner Dr Sian Stanley and her seven-year-old daughter Alexandra Sherlock Thomas completed Nuclear Races Rookie course, raising £650 for BBC Children in Need.

The GP from Ormskirk in Lancashire, who joined the surgery in 2013, and Alex are members of Vision Fitness gym in Henham. Alex goes to a mini exercise class there on a Friday run by personal trainer Lyndsey Locke.

After training since January to increase their overall fitness, mum and daughter joined 19 other children and parents for the race. The youngsters tackled various obstacles on the 1.5k course and the adults ran beside them.

Sian, who is married to Ryanair pilot Rupert Sherlock Thomas, said: "Much of it was mud. Alex was wonderful doing everything, including a zip wire into a pool of mud, rope ladders, slides and tunnels into muddy waters."

She explained: "I wanted to do this race with her to demonstrate how important fitness is and show Alex that exercise is so important to health and well-being. Also, as a GP, I really should practise what I preach.

"I'm not a natural runner but have worked hard over the months to improve my fitness and I've seen real improvement to my health as a result. I want to continue getting better and fitter."

Alexandra Sherlock Thomas (10827743)
Alexandra Sherlock Thomas (10827743)

Her colleague, Dr Mark Penwill, 55, has been a GP at Church Street since 1992 and a partner since 1994. His wife Wendy, an independent neuro-physiotherapist and Pilates instructor, prompted him to take on a physical challenge for charity so Mark decided on a coast-to-coast trek across Costa Rica in aid of Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust's breast unit.

He said: "This felt like a perfect fit as my work as a local GP has allowed me to see the excellent work done by the unit in treating breast cancer, and breast cancer affects, or has affected, a large number of my patients."

Dr Penwill joined 12 others for the trek, and has raised £4,370 to take the group total to more than £43,000.

He said: "We were having to drink up to 12 pints of water a day due to the exertion, heat and humidity. The most likely threat was to be bitten by one of the enormous bullet ants."

As they headed into the forest, rain made the going slippy and muddy for the party.

Mark said: "It was a fantastic and challenging experience, and I have made friends for life."

See http://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/mark-penwill to donate.

Dr Mark Penwill (10908885)
Dr Mark Penwill (10908885)

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