Northampton couple runs three half marathons in three months in memory of father

Sarah Beard and her partner, James, are raising funds for Cynthia Spencer Hospice, who supported and cared for her dad during his battle with throat cancer

Friday, 1st October 2021, 4:18 pm
Sarah Beard and her partner of 17 years, James Marshall, running the Northampton Half Marathon.

A Northampton couple is running three half marathons in three months to raise money for Cynthia Spencer Hospice.

Sarah Beard, 39, and her partner, James Marshall, 41 from Wootton started running in January 2020 and are now taking on the challenge of running three half marathons in three months in memory of Sarah's dad, Tim Beard.

Together, they are raising money for Cynthia Spencer Hospice, who supported and cared for Tim during his brave battle with throat cancer in 2004, a battle he sadly lost at the age of jut 51 years old.

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Sarah said: "Given that we couldn’t run to the end of the street 20 months ago, being able to take part in these events really is quite an achievement and I felt incredibly proud that we are both running these for Dad, and know how proud he would have been of us too!

"I will be forever grateful for the care that was given to Dad during his months at the hospice by the staff and volunteers and it's a privilege to be able to raise money for Cynthia Spencer to help them to continue to care for others with life limiting illnesses."

Sarah and James have been training three to four times a week in preparation for the half marathons and love to do their long training runs together on a Sunday, exploring parts of Northampton they never knew existed.

Their first official half marathon event was the London Landmarks Half Marathon on August 1 earlier this year and their second was the Northampton Half Marathon, which took place last week on Sunday, September 26.

Sarah continued: "Taking part in the Northampton Half was a fantastic experience, with it being in our home town our family and friends were able to come and support along the way, which was a huge boost for us both throughout the 13.1 mile distance, which I completed in two hours, five minutes and 40 seconds."

Sarah's dad, Tim, is described to have been a "really friendly, chatty and sociable" person with a dry sense of humour and he was known as a "wind-up merchant" amongst his close friends and family and said to have taken after his own father in that regard.

Tim loved nothing more than interacting with others and would often go to the shop to buy a paper, which was just a five minute walk from his home in the village of Nether Heyford but he would always return an hour later, having spoken to many villagers on his travels.

Sarah set up a Just Giving Page for all three half marathons in Tim's memory, where all the money will go to Cynthia Spencer Hospice and sponsorship up to £1,000 will be matched by Sarah's employer so the final total of money raised will be doubled.

The final half marathon that will be tackled by Sarah and James will be the Rock 'n' Roll Liverpool Half Marathon on October 24.

If you want to make a donation to Sarah and James' cause, visit their fundraising page at https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/s12trb.