In March 2007, Mandy faced a huge bombshell. Her work colleague, Pete, was diagnosed with terminal bowel cancer. A day earlier, he left work early to go to a doctor’s appointment and the next she was told that he would never return to work.

“After years of putting off running and leaving my running trainers unworn, I put those shoes on and went out for my first run/walk following Pete’s diagnosis. For the next 6 weeks I went out three to four times a week until I could run 5km without stopping. I was so elated the first time I did this that I did it the next evening just to make sure that I could really do it!

Pete died in June 2007. As I completed my July race I laughed and cried in equal measure. I was running for Pete.

I continued with running and did my first half-marathon in Bath in March 2008. My old work colleagues also invited me to run the Leicester half-marathon in October. Since then, I have run about 20 half marathons and 5 full marathons but the half I always return to is Leicester.

What is important to me is taking part. Not everyone makes it to 58, Pete never did, and of those who do, many have illnesses or disabilities which prevent them from running. However much of a struggle it is for me, however long it takes, I’ll get around. As I hug my husband at the finish line, I’ll thank Pete for a legacy of 15 years of running”.

If Mandy’s story has inspired you to Run Leicester, why not sign up here?

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