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Defiant runner to tackle London Marathon despite leg injury
8:22am Tuesday 19th March 2013 in Fundraising fun
AN injured runner from York is determined to complete the London Marathon in memory of three-year-old Alfie Oliver, who died last year.
Helen Stothard, from Strensall, runs with a local club, and suffered a leg injury while training in the recent bad weather.
Helen, 43, said: “It’s my first ever marathon, but one I have always wanted to do. If I’m honest, I think it’s going to be a lot more walking or limping than running as I injured myself training in the ice and snow and have had to cut back on the training.
“I’m only able to do fast walks at the moment and have a pretty constant ache in my leg, but I’m having treatment and being sensible. If I have to walk the whole thing then I will. It’s about crossing that finish line, nothing else.”
Alfie died last June after a battle with serious heart and lung problems, caused by a rare condition known as transposition of the great arteries, which meant the position of his aorta and pulmonary artery were reversed.
He underwent gruelling surgery days after he was born and spent the rest of his short life on a daily drug regime while paying regular visits to hospital and later Martin House Hospice, at Wetherby.
Alfie’s father, Rob, is a fellow member of Helen’s running club, the York Postal Harriers, so she has decided to run in his memory, and raise money for Martin House Children’s Hospice, where Alfie spent his final days.
Helen said: “There’s a very strong Facebook and Twitter community who are supporting me. Now I can’t run, I have to try and walk it instead, but I’m going to borrow an exercise bike which should help with my training. I’ve put in too much effort in training to give up. I don’t want people thinking I’m pulling the wool over their eyes, but I’m adamant I’m going to finish it. Anything we can raise for Martin House is better than nothing. I don’t want to quit. I could defer to next year, but I figure that if people sponsor me, that covers my pain and suffering.”
• To donate to Helen’s fund, go to http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/hls2012 or text HVLM99 £5 to 70070 (change the £5 to another amount but remember to include the £ sign).