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Rebecca Beard is running 12 marathons in 12 months for Breast Cancer Care and Cancer Research UK with Team Run 12

By Clare Freeman

Rebecca Beard took up running for the first time just under two years ago but has already run well over 200 miles for charity.

Last yeah she set herself the challenge of completing 12 marathons in 12 months and last weekend ran number eight.

Her goal is to raise £25,000 for Breast Cancer Care and Cancer Research UK and so far the total stands at more than £17,000.

Rebecca Beard running her 6th marathon of the year with Brian Weatherley at Kent Roadrunner Marathon, at Gravesend Cyclopark.

Rebecca, 23, completed the Halifax Marathon on Sunday (August 31).

She said: “It was the hardest race yet, one mile in there was a hill so steep that you had to hold a handrail to get up it. I very nearly dropped out but once I was at the top I managed to convince myself to get my head back in the game.

“It was a two lap course, so I knew I had to do that again but flying down trail hills was good fun. I collapsed after the race, my temperature dropped too quickly but I was fine after about 15 minutes.”

Rebecca Beard (centre) with Mark Taylor and her sister Megan Beard who are joining her on her marathon challenge.

Rebecca, who is the Community Partnerships Manager at the Heart of Kent Hospice, runs her next marathon in Bournemouth on October 5 with her sister, Megan.

Her marathon journey started at Gravesend Cyclopark in January and has taken her to Cambridge, Milton Keynes, and the London Marathon where she dislocated her knee crossing Tower Bridge.

Rebecca got the marathon bug when she received an email from Breast Cancer Care offering her a late place in the 2013 Virgin London Marathon.

Rebecca running the 2013 Virgin London Marathon.

This was just a week after a relative had been diagnosed with incurable second stage breast cancer.

Rebecca decided she couldn’t turn down the opportunity and a mere 88 days later she completed the London Marathon, raising £11,000 for Breast Cancer Care.

She knew her fundraising couldn’t stop there: “I knew I wouldn’t raise that kind of money again without doing something extreme, so I thought about it and decided I’m going to do 12 marathons in 12 months.

Rebecca (centre) with members of Team Run 12 at the launch party in October 2013.

“Everyone thought I was a little bit mad as I hadn’t really run before.”

Rebecca, who went to Walderslade Girls’ School, is being joined on her marathon challenge by Team 12, a group of six runners who will be by her side the whole way. They are all running at least one marathon each.

Donate at www.teamrun12.co.uk.

Rebecca with members of Team Run 12 at her first marathon at Gravesend Cyclopark in January.

Help Team Run 12 win £5,000 for Cancer Research UK by voting online at www.mountainwarehouse.com.

There is a family fun day for Team Run 12 at the Robin Hood Pub, Common Road, Blue Bell Hill tomorrow (Saturday) from 2pm until late.

The fundraising event will have live music, a BBQ, children’s games and entertainment, a sponsored wax and much more. Free entry.

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