Harrogate runner gears up for this weekend's London Marathon
Holly Duckworth is gearing up to run the London Marathon on Sunday, raising money for Ovacome in memory of her Nanna.
Holly will be running the 26.2 miles in memory of her Nanna June, who sadly passed away in 2004, after she was diagnosed with stage 4 ovarian cancer at 72 years old.
Ovacome is the UK’s national ovarian cancer support charity who provide the most up-to-date information on treatment, research and care, as well as offering a supportive community for anyone affected by the disease.
Holly currently works for the charity as a Communications and Engagement Officer and is keen to make people aware of the signs and symptoms of ovarian cancer.
She said: "Sadly, my brothers and I lost our wonderful Nanna June to ovarian cancer.
"After multiple visits to the GP and hospital, my Nanna was misdiagnosed and when she eventually received the correct diagnosis, it was too late.
"I lost my Nanna too young and having brought up my mother as a single, working mum, while working her way up in nursing and midwifery, my Nanna really deserved to fulfil her retirement years and see her grandchildren grow up.
"At the time my Nanna was diagnosed, we knew very little about ovarian cancer and unfortunately we were unaware of any support charities, therefore I am very keen to make people aware of the signs and symptoms of ovarian cancer, and to make Ovacome known to anyone affected by or diagnosed with ovarian cancer."
Following last year's cancellation of the event due to the global pandemic, the 2021 Virgin Money London Marathon is set to be the biggest marathon ever staged anywhere in the world, with an incredible 100,000 runners scheduled to take part on Sunday 3 October.
Like many people across the country gearing up for this weekend, Holly used the pandemic as a chance to put the miles in and train for the event.
She said: "I found that training kept me sane during the pandemic.
"It was really good to have a goal in lockdown, although at times, that goal kept moving due to the marathon getting postponed back in 2020, but overall I think training during the pandemic has helped me a lot.
"Running anything over 15 miles is pretty difficult as it is on another level but I have trained up to 20 miles so lets hope I can make it for the remaining 6.2 miles on the day.
"My 16 week marathon training plan consisted of at least three runs a week, one long one at the weekend, and two or three strength training days.
"I am now tapering the miles this week leading up to Sunday so no more runs longer then 4 miles until race day which is such a relief.
"I can't wait to finally run the London marathon for Ovacome and to raise vital funds for such a fantastic charity as it is a charity very close to my heart, and I hope that those who can donate are able to contribute towards their incredible work."
Cheryl, Holly's mum, said: "We are very proud parents of Holly who has had to maintain her fitness and training for two years because of Covid and she is running for a great cause which is obviously very personal to our family.
"Holly has almost reached her goal of £2500 through successive fundraising activities alongside very generous donations and we will be down in London supporting her all the way."
Ovacome provides a range of support services for anyone who has been affected by ovarian cancer, including a free telephone support line, a 24 hour online forum, email support, instant chat services and face to face support groups.
For further information and support, visit https://www.ovacome.org.uk/ or call 0800 008 7054.
There is still time to sponsor Holly and help her reach her £2,500 target via her fundraising page: https://www.ovacome.org.uk/Fundraisers/help-holly-to-make-a-real-difference-
Are you taking part in this weekend's London Marathon and would like to tell your story? Get in touch by emailing [email protected]