The loss of a dear friend prompted Sally Hart to gear up for a marathon challenge.
And the South Shore estate agent will be raising money for a breast cancer charity in the name of that special person.
Sally will be running the London Marathon on Sunday in memory of popular singer Bernie Nolan, who was born and lived in the resort with her family for years.
Bernie lost her battle with breast cancer in July last year, after first being diagnosed with the illness in 2010. After nearly two years of treatment, it looked as though she had made a recovery, only for the illness to come back again in late 2012 and doctors gave her the sad news it was incurable.
The 52-year-old’s funeral service was held in Blackpool and thousands of well-wishers lined the streets, joining her family and friends, to pay their respects.
Sally had known Bernie for about nine years and said she felt determined to take on the 26.2 miles in her memory, in aid of Breast Cancer Campaign.
“I’ve always been sporty, but about three years ago, I had a prolapsed disc.
“I got back into exercise at the De Vere gym and got into classes and running and then I joined Lytham St Annes Running Club.
“I enjoy running, I’ve done three half-marathons, but I’ve never done a marathon before.
“When Bernie passed away last year, I wanted to do something in her name and decided I would do the London Marathon and I would raise money for a breast cancer charity. Bernie did a lot for charity herself and to raise awareness.
“I attended her 50th birthday celebrations, she had a big party as she had been given the all-clear from cancer the first time around. It was an amazing event, she looked incredible. She is very sadly missed, she was so much fun, she was a really caring person and I feel really proud to do this in her memory.
“It was sad for her family and friends to lose such a talented and fabulous lady, but I want to try to do something good to help others who have suffered breast cancer, who are suffering now, or those who have lost a loved one.”
Sally has been regularly training and she will be running the event with her friend Emma Eldershaw, who is raising money for local charity Jack’s Belles. Sally said: “I like running, getting chance to get out in the fresh air, to clear your head and it gives you a sense of freedom.
“I am excited about the marathon, although slightly nervous about the distance.
“But I know the atmosphere will be fantastic, it’s probably a once-in-a-lifetime event and I am also coming up to my 50th birthday – so I am looking forward to it.”
To support Sally, visit www.justgiving.com/sally-hart1