BIRTHDAY MARATHON CHALLENGE

Sally Thomson aims to complete the infamous 26-mile route in less than four hours in a bid to raise funds for the Helen Rollason Cancer Charity.  Sally said: I am feeling extremely lucky and excited that I have been given a place to run in the London Marathon 2010. When the acceptance letter dropped on my doormat last October I just could not believe it as it was only my second time of applying in the public ballot.

Sally, who will turn 35 on the day of this years marathon, is currently clocking up to 35 miles in her training each week.  She added: I decided to fundraise for the Helen Rollason Cancer Charity as my father has used the charitys support centres in the past. Unfortunately he has had non-Hodgkins Lymphoma since 1996 and has battled four separate episodes of cancer.

He is currently battling another one which has caused other issues with his health. The strength I see in my dad though is just amazing and he will be on my mind the entire race, as he is most of my waking day.

The Helen Rollason Cancer Charity funds and operates a network of cancer support centres in the area. Two of which are situated in Chelmsford, one in Springfield, the other on the Broomfield Hospital site. The centres offer cancer patients access to complementary therapies, counselling and support groups. In addition, the charity funds an extensive research programme into the disease. There is a team of scientists working in a laboratory undertaking studies into the disease while research nurses care for patients on clinical drug trials.

Sally said: Im really looking forward to the event and have very much enjoyed my training, and yes even those long runs. Its all part of the challenge and this is one I have always wanted to do.

Belonging to the Thrift Green Trotters in Brentwood has been a massive help and I am really not sure I could have got to where I am now without them. I completed the Brentwood half marathon a couple of weeks ago on achieving a time of 1hr 39min, so in theory I could achieve a time of 3hr 40min in the London Marathon but in truth I am aiming for sub 4hrs but having never done a marathon before it is unknown territory. Goes without saying I just want to cross that finish line first and then hope for a good time.

Sally will have family support on the day from her two young daughters Isabel and Lois, her husband Allan plus her mum and sister and other family members.  Sally said: The ultimate would be to have my dad John there to cheer me on. He will be the first person Ill ring when I have finished though. I know he is very proud of me. I will be 35 years old on the marathon day itself and wow what a way to celebrate it this year! I will experience the entire range of emotions but I will always remember the elation of crossing that finish line, hopefully.

To support Sally in her birthday marathon quest visit www.virginmoneygiving.com/SallyThomson

For more information about the charity visit www.helenrollason.org.uk

*Photo of Sally Thomson available on request.

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