Mum's driveway marathon for 'Marie Curie heroes'
Christina Baker was one of a group of seven athletes from Whitehead Runners due to compete in Sunday's London Landmarks Half Marathon.
But with the race cancelled in the wake of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, coupled with Government advice on social distancing, the local mum found a novel way to complete her goal - and raise vital funds in the process.
Christina explained: "Because lots of different people had sponsored me to do the run for Marie Curie, I didn't want to let them down. So I thought that rather than getting out and running the pavements, I'd get on my gear and do the distance up and down my driveway at home.
"It took me about five and a half hours to do, although the actual run time was three hours 32 minutes because I was stopping every so often to update people. I had neighbours cheering me on from their gardens so it was great."
Joining Christina for stretches of the run were sons Ethan, six, and ten-year-old Callum. "It was a great way to get them out of the house."
Crucial to the challenge was a desire to raise funds for Marie Curie, whose support is now more important than ever, Christina added. "There are people in my family who have been affected by cancer and have been through that struggle. The nurses that work for Marie Curie are angels; they're still out there on the front line, supporting families and people who are terminally ill. I think what they're doing is absolutely amazing; they are the heroes in all this.
"A few of the Whitehead Runners are in the front line too working for the NHS. Running is a way for us all to escape, recharge and regroup. Unfortunately during these times we cannot run together as a team due to the Government's regulations on social distancing. We look forward to a day when we will all be back together running again as the Whitehead Runners."
Donations towards Marie Curie can still be made on Christina's JustGiving page at https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/christina-baker8