Supporters and fundraisers news

Rod’s Runners; Rod Kohler’s Legacy

Rod’s Runners have formed to raise vital funds and awareness in memory of Rod Kohler, a well-known PR professional within the sponsorship business who was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2017.

Rod was joint managing director of London-based sports PR and sponsorship agency Revolution Sports + Entertainment. He had a career spanning over 20 years in the sports PR sector, working on major high profile accounts. He was praised as being a highly respected, dedicated professional that was one of the nicest people you could meet in the sponsorship business.

Rod sadly passed away in February 2018 at only 48.

In his memory, a group of Rod’s friends and family get together to take part in their own fundraising challenge. This challenge was initially set up by Rod and a few of his friends. In her own words, Rod’s wife, Millie Kohler has explained to us how Rod and his friends came up with the idea and of rod’s on-going legacy for the event now known as Rod’s Runners.

Millie’s words below:

The idea

In 2013, Rod had the hair brain idea along with a few good friends; Adrian Thornycroft, Mike Rowland, Duncan Smith, Simon Thorn, Mark Valentine and Simon Black, to take on a 22 mile running challenge.

Rod's runners first event
This is the first run, from left to right is simon thorn, Adrian Thorneycroft, Rod, Mark Valentine, Duncan smith, frank Hewitt, simon black and then Mike Rowland joined later on in the run

It was decided that their 22 mile journey would be starting from the Blackdown National Park to the Rising Sun pub, in Milland. There they would be met with a few dutiful wives supplying water and food, and of course, masses of encouragement.

They would then run to the Duke of Cumberland pub, in Henley, for more cheery wives and food and water. The final stretch was to the Noah’s ark, in Lurgashall, where my brother and his wife, who own the pub, would give us all an amazing lunch.


Rod’s legacy

The 22 mile challenge that Rod helped set up is still going and is growing year-on-year. The challenge is now known as Rod’s Runners as everyone that takes part is for in memory of Rod. Rod’s wife, Millie and his family had set a target to raise £20,000, for Pancreatic Cancer Action, in memory of Rod.

It has now amazingly grown somewhat with not only a 22 mile run but also a 14 or 6 mile walk, 100km road bike and a 40km off road bike ride. My brother and his wife now close the pub to the public as we were 150 people for lunch this year. That day we hit our £20,000 target which was amazing!

How life changed from a young family who moved down to Haslemere and a husband who didn’t want to meet any new friends – claiming he already had enough! Now, with the help of all the hearts of the people he touched over the last 10 years with his loud voice, big character and cackling laugh has surprised us all by raising so much money for such a great cause.


A tribute to Rod

Rod’s family and friends have been fundraising for Pancreatic Cancer Action through a pansy tribute fund. If you would like to donate to Rod’s Pansy Tribute, you can do so here.

An online Pansy Tribute offers a place for loved ones to donate, light a candle or leave messages in memory of that person. Simple to set up and easy to use, a Pansy Tribute can also hold photographs, thoughts, sounds and memories all in one place and also allows for donations to be made in memory.