AS 7000 people gather to run in York's sold out marathon in October, each have their own reasons for taking part. Among them - and taking part in their first ever marathons - will be Clare Alexander and Kathy Boothman.

CLARE Alexander describes herself as having 'bounce-back-ability'.

Earlier this year she was told that the cancer she was diagnosed with in 2015 had spread and she is now classed as living with cancer.

But through the whole ordeal, and even when she was going through chemotherapy, the 47-year-old mum-of-two has kept running.

"All the way through I have kept running and kept fit and healthy," Clare said, "I love running, it's me time. I'm not Clare the mum, or Clare the nurse or wife - it's me time.

"I've always been positive, I try to be optimistic and resilient.

"I was reading that runners have 'bounce-back-ability' and I think I have that. I have no choice, I'm just getting on with it."

York Press:

It's the third time Clare (pictured above), from Huntington, has tried to take part in the marathon: in 2014 she suffered a collapsed lung and in the summer before last year's race she was diagnosed with a rare cancer of the bile duct.

Despite surgery to remove a large tumour, and six months of chemotherapy, earlier this year Clare was told there are traces of the disease on the pericardium of the heart and her liver.

Many of Clare's colleagues at the Nuffield Hospital, where she works as a pre-assessment nurse for people about to have surgery, have said they will sponsor her.

As well as running for York Against Cancer, to help others with cancer, Clare is also running for the MS Society for her husband David.

The couple - who have two children, Bryony, 24, and Jack, 22 - had often gone running together until 2009, when David's left side became very weak and he was subsequently diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.

Speaking about how she will feel when she crosses the finishing line, Clare said: "I think I will be elated I have done it. People have asked if I have got a set time but I just want to enjoy the run."

She said she takes some inspiration from Jane Tomlinson, the late fundraiser whose charity is one of the partner organisations involved in the Yorkshire Marathon. Jane raised £1.85 million for charity by completing a series of athletic challenges while suffering from incurable cancer.

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Clare said: "I know about Jane Tomlinson and I suppose you have to aim for something and feel focused as she did when she was diagnosed . She carried on for many, many years and that's my plan as well." Charlie Tatman, events manager at Jane Tomlinson’s Run For All, said: “We’re really moved to hear Clare’s story and wish her the very best for what is an exceptional effort.

“We are fortunate enough to hear some really remarkable stories from our runners and we never fail to be amazed and inspired by their achievements.”

Julie Russell, general manager of York Against Cancer said: "Clare is an inspiration.

"It's wonderful that while facing such a tough personal battle, she has not only managed to take on a marathon but also to think of others living with cancer in York.

"The money she raises for York Against Cancer will make a real difference and I'd like to thank her for thinking of us."

- If you would like to sponsor Clare, please visit

"I'm running in memory of my best friend"​

York Press:

WHEN Kathy Boothman ran the York's ten mile race last year, her best friend Jaimie Kerr (pictured above)  was seriously ill in hospital.

Weeks after the 43-year-old completed the run - raising £300 in Jaimie's name - her friend died aged just 38.

Having suffered from nephrotic syndrome, a kidney problem, since she was a child, Jaimie had become seriously ill as a result of complications and her condition meant a kidney transplant was not a viable option.

"She was always encouraging everybody," Kathy said about Jaimie, who worked in racehorse training.

"If she knew I was doing this, she would say I was mad.

"When I did the 10km in August last year she was in hospital at the time. She sent me a text in the morning to wish me good luck and said she wanted to know how I did. In the car on the way home I heard an advert for the York 10 mile race and I decided to do that for her."

The run raised £300 for Castle Hill intensive care unit, which had previously saved Jaimie's life.

"She was over the moon," Kathy, from Nawton in Ryedale, said, "She was very proud, even though she was so sick."

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This year Kathy (pictured above when she ran the Kirbymoorside 10k for Nawton Primary School) is stepping up the challenge and is running her first ever marathon in her best friend's honour.

"She had suffered a long time, though many people didn't even know she was ill," Kathy said, " My suffering running 26 miles is rather insignificant in comparison."

The pair, who both worked with horses, had met through their work.

Jaimie's family - her parents Brian and Sheila, sister Toni and partner Tony - suggested the money Kathy raises in the marathon goes towards Castle Hill intensive care unit for a second time, and Kathy is also raising money for the Yorkshire Air Ambulance, which has helped many people who had suffered riding accidents.

She said she will be thinking of Jaimie as she starts the marathon.

"I'll feel emotional, she will be helping me round I'm sure."

- If you would like to sponsor Kathy, please email

-The Plusnet Yorkshire Marathon is taking place on Sunday, October 9, at 9.30am.

The event is sold out, however there are still places left for the 10 mile run, which follows part of the same course.

To book your place, visit