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Premature Babies Need You!

By Belinda Findlay on January 24, 2012 in News

Photo: Grant Brooks

Remember all of those New Year’s resolutions you made on January 1, 2012? Nah? I didn’t think so.

Don’t worry though, because we here at The Beast are giving you the chance to redeem your moral soul and a damn good way to get fit, all the while supporting a fantastic cause in the process.

You may or may not remember local girl Sophie Smith and her husband Ash, whom we have written about in these hallowed pages a couple of times in the past. If not, let me jolt your memory.

For the past five years Sophie and Ash have organised a team to run in the SMH Half Marathon, raising money for the Royal Hospital for Women’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. Why? Because five years ago their three very premature, first born triplet sons – Henry, Jasper and Evan – lost their battle to survive a frighteningly early start to life.

“After our little boys died, Ash and I talked about them all the time, and about the incredible love they’d brought into our lives. We were determined they’d never be forgotten and that something good would come from their lives,” Sophie recalled.

Talk about living up to her word: nine months to the day after Evan and Jasper were born, and six months after Jasper passed away, Sophie ran the SMH Half Marathon with a team of 98 people, raising $80,000 for new humidicribs. That was the start of ‘The Henry, Jasper & Evan Trust Fund’, which raises money for life-saving equipment for critically ill and extremely premature babies at the Royal Hospital for Women.

In the five years since that first run, over 700 people have joined Sophie’s ‘Running for Premature Babies’ team, raising over $520,000 and buying ten humidicribs and ten neo-natal monitors for the hospital, an impressive effort y anyone’s standards.

So once again, we’re calling all the party animals, social butterflies, get-fit freaks and those who just know they really should, to join Sophie’s team in 2012 and help her rally the biggest team yet – of over 250 people – in order to raise $140,000 for two special ventilators urgently needed by the hospital.

You don’t have to be fit or a great runner to join either.

“Each year incredible people of all ages join my team. Some are parents of babies who’ve died, others are parents of miracle children who’ve overcome their premature start to life, and the rest are just inspired by our brave little boys,” Sophie said.

Runners get five months’ free fortnightly training with Mandi O’Sullivan-Jones, a professional exercise physiologist, as well as free weekly interval training sessions, and a free team singlet and cap donated by sponsors Running Bare. Plus, it’s not all running, sweat and hard work – there’s heaps of fun to be had along the way with many social events planned in the lead up to race, not to mention the awesome team after party to quench that well deserved thirst afterwards!

As Sophie says, “Although our boys lost their fight to life, they left behind a beautiful legacy to give other premature babies the best chance”. So, come on, give it a go. If you don’t do it for yourself, do it for Sophie and Ash and the memory of their precious boys, or for the many tiny lives you might just help to save in the future – now that’s a great resolution!

For more information or to join Sophie’s team, jump online and visit or email