Published: 09:07, 24 May 2020
| Updated: 17:19, 24 May 2020
Mum-of-two Tina Nurden ran the Great Manchester Half Marathon - on the Isle of Sheppey 250 miles away.
When Manchester postponed its run because of the coronavirus lockdown, the plucky parent continued with her training and tackled the 21k challenge today (Sunday) .
She set off from her home in Highview Road at 8.30am and finished at The Leas, Minster, 2hr 42min later having taken in Cowstead Corner, Halfway and Sheerness.
The run raised money for the British Heart Foundation and cancer charity Lymphoma Action on behalf ofher dad Tony Batchelor.
She said: "The Manchester Half Marathon has been postponed until September 6. So I decided to carry on with my training and attempt a half marathon anyway.
"The run was dedicated to my father who is still defying medical predictions and cheered me along from his sofa in Devizes.
Tony, a retired civil servant and former school governor on Sheppey, was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma in June, 2015.
He has spent five years undergoing a variety of treatments including 22 rounds of chemotherapy and two clinical trials.
Tina, 34, a former teacher at a Sittingbourne primary school, said: "I am so proud to call him my Dad because of his determination, his courage and his continuously positive attitude. According to doctors, he shouldn't be here. But he has proved to be a survivor.
"He put himself forward for a number of clinical trials pioneered by Lymphoma Action because he wants to help others by finding treatments.
"I believe they have helped my Dad survive and live for the past five years.
"It hasn't always been easy or pleasant but their trials are making such a difference to so many. Dad being here with us obviously means so much to us all."
Her brothers David and Michael, who live and work in Manchester, had agreed to run with her in Manchester but didn't join her on the Sheppey excursion.
Tina said: "Signing up for a half marathon is something my Dad would never have expected of his three children. None of us are natural runners.
"But this is a small way we can show him how much we think of him and how much we love him.
"We would love to raise as much money as possible to help his favourite charities continue to provide support to other sufferers and to help fund medical research to improve treatments and prognosis.
"He has supported the British Heart Foundation for 10 years by shaking his tin, helping out at events and providing support to the Devizes branch of this charity. It is a mission close to his heart - pun intended.
"Anything people can donate, big or small, will be very gratefully received."
Friends and relatives have so far pledged £425 towards her target of £1,300 for Lymphoma Action and £125 of £1,150 for the British Heart Foundation.
Tina only took up running after joining the Sheppey Beginners2Runners Club in September 2018. Many members supported her along the route and turned up at the finish near the beach huts.
Donna Gibson, Alex Holmes, Lou Wood, Nichola Lassnig and Steph Gill joined her along the way as pacesetters.
Tina was met at the finishing tape by husband Mark and their two sons Samuel, eight, and Nicholas, five. As she crashed through the tape, the boys presented her with a medal created by Beginners2Runners manager Julie Bean.
They both made little banners to wave at her and ensured she had cold water and Haribos for the run.
She said afterwards: "I'd like to thank everyone who supported me and cheered me on my way. They made an immeasurable difference.
"Everyone from Beginners2Runners have been amazing. I wouldn't have achieved any of this if it wasn't for them. If I could have hugged everyone at the end, I would have done!"
As she walked home, to cool her muscles, she added: "I'm looking forward to a couple of well-earned sherries now."
More by this authorJohn Nurden
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