Sharon Randall has only been running for about a year, but is looking forward to her first marathon this weekend.
The 48-year-old from Thornton, is gearing up to take part in the London Marathon on Sunday, for a cause very close to her heart.
She will be running, with her husband David, to raise funds for Children With Cancer UK – a charity chosen by her dad, whose own cancer diagnosis inspired her.
Sharon’s dad, Robert Sherman, was given the news he had blood cancer last year and is undergoing treatment.
When Sharon told him she would be running the marathon and asked him which charity he would like her to represent, he felt Children With Cancer UK was the one.
Children with Cancer UK is the leading national children’s charity dedicated to the fight against all forms of childhood cancer. The charity funds life-saving research into the causes, prevention and treatment of childhood cancer and works to protect young lives, through welfare and campaigning programmes.
Sharon, a civil servant, aims to raise at least £2,000 through sponsorship and fund-raising activities.
Sharon said: “I am not a natural runner, and decided to run after my dad was diagnosed.
“I wanted to make him proud and make a difference. He had a rock and sweet factory in Blackpool and is well-known in the area.
“I’ve been running now for about a year, I’ve done three half-marathons this year and a few shorter races like the Blackpool 10k for Trinity Hospice.
“I had a set-back in my training when I was out running with my husband and was attacked by a dog.
“I suffered some quite bad injuries, so I had to take about a month out of training.
“But I am determined I am going to do the marathon.
“Thinking about cancer charities and my dad will inspire me to run the race.”
Sharon’s husband David, a taxi driver, has been collecting donations to boost her efforts.
She added: “Before I started running, I could hardly run to the next lamppost, but I have just built it up.
“I do prefer the shorter distances, but I do enjoy running.
“I really want to raise as much as possible for this great charity.”
To sponsor Sharon’s efforts, visit http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/SharonRandall