Not content with one marathon, staff nurse Emma Widdowson has just completed her seventh 26-mile run in seven days.
Inspired by the cancer patients she nurses every day, Emma took on the mammoth challenge of running from London to Manchester in one week, to raise funds for Manchester’s specialist cancer hospital The Christie, where she works in the oncology assessment unit.
Spurred on by a friend who is being treated there, Emma, 29, said that although the challenge was tough at times as she has never completed such a distance before, it was nothing compared to the challenges faced by cancer patients every day.
Mum-of-two Emma, from Bowdon, Cheshire, ran the 182 miles dressed to represent a different cancer on different days. One day she wore red for haematological cancer, another day purple for melanoma, and she even ran one marathon distance in her bra for breast cancer.
Her challenge began on 17th September in London and her route took her from Notting Hill, through St Albans, Rugby and Macclesfield, finishing at The Christie in Withington, Manchester, on Friday 23rd September where she was greeted by cheering family, friends and colleagues.
One of her patients, friend Mark Bryant, 38, from Rhos-on-Sea, north Wales, joined her for the last 5km as she ran into the hospital grounds and her proud daughters Isabella, seven, and Amelie, four, crossed the finishing line with her.
Emma said: “I was so inspired talking to my friend Mark, hearing about the challenges he has faced as an inpatient on the haematology ward. He has faced many hurdles and fought this battle so bravely, as have many of my amazing patients who I have grown so fond of.
“I hadn’t done a huge amount of training although I have always loved running and have completed marathons before. I just thought of who I was running for and took it a day at a time.
“I don’t feel too bad, I could actually do another run! Although now I’m heading for an ice bath.
I want to thank everyone who has supported me. All the money we raised will go towards developing better patient treatment and care at The Christie where I am so proud to be a nurse.
Emma was supported on her challenge by her parents Caroline and David Widdowson who drove a support vehicle and cycled alongside her as she ran.
Emma has smashed her original fundraising target of £10,000 and sporting events manager for The Christie charity, Lucy Naylor, said:
Tackling the immense physical challenge of completing seven marathons in seven days is simply inspirational. People like Emma not only take on such impressive fundraising feats themselves but also motivate others to get out there and raise vital funds for The Christie. Emma has been fantastic, we are very proud of her.
You can support Emma by donating to her Just Giving page at justgiving.com/fundraising/Emma-Widdowson1
The Christie charity supports the work of The Christie NHS Foundation Trust through its fundraising activities, and delivers projects, equipment and improvements that are over and above what the NHS funds. The charity has over 43,000 supporters who helped raise £15.9m last year.