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A virtual London marathon for Cancer UK

Charlotte and Russell Ward will lace up their runners at 3am on Sunday morning and complete a distance of 42.2kms as they run the virtual London marathon.

The couple who are part of the military and live in Four Corners are doing this in aid of Children with Cancer UK.

Mr Ward is a Major and runs the Joint Admin Office, it will be his first marathon. But for Mrs Ward, a seasoned runner and member of Carpe Diem Running Club, it will be her eighth. In addition, she has ran ultra-marathons that are over 100km and numerous half marathons.

“The charity is Children with Cancer UK charity. I am aware of children from Gibraltar that have gone to the UK for treatment in the past,” said Mrs Ward.

“It is a charity that is close to my heart because during a previous illness that I had I was having a day where I did not want to continue my treatment and I was taken on a little walk and ended up in the children’s ward.”

“Reality sort of kicked in. So as that point I knew and I always said we would give back to the ones that helped us.”

“What they go through is just… and they do it with ease,” she added.

She explained with Covid hitting the UK the way it did the charity has lost approximately hundreds of thousands of pounds it would have normally raised.

“So any extra is just what they need,” she said.

At present, the couple have raised £1,975.

The London marathon has never been done virtually before and the couple had planned to do the London marathon in April.

Mrs Ward had applied via the ballot for a place in the marathon for a number of years but to no avail. While on his first attempt Mr Ward was successful. With the couple wishing to achieve the distance together Mrs Ward arranged to have a charity place running for Children With Cancer.

“When Covid hit we were like is it going to be on or not. We trained, we stopped, we trained we stopped and then they moved it from April to October and to a virtual race,” said Mrs Ward.

“We are going to run, walk, walk, walk and then a little bit more running,” she laughed.

Training in the summer heat for such a distance was tough but that did not deter Mr and Mrs Ward who regularly pounded the pavement in preparation.

“We were going to go over the border and run in Spain but we thought how many people have actually ran a marathon in Gibraltar. Unless it was training for something.”

The couple will run around the Rock twice, anti-clockwise, and then they will assent up the Mediterranean steps in time for sunrise, run the length of the Rock before running back into town and home to Four Corners.
Because of the terrain the aim is to complete the distance and not to finish in a particular time.

Mr Ward is keen to do the marathon and tick it off his list, which given the fact he hates running and he has a fused ankle from an ice hockey accident when they lived in Canada is some item to have on a list.

“He has to be very careful, so even if we were going to London to do it we would have ‘Jeffed’ it anyway, which is run, walk,” she said.

12 for 12 challenge

In addition, to raising funds for Children with Cancer UK via the London Marathon Ms Ward is also taking part and promoting the 12 for 12 challenge.

“There are 12 children/young people diagnosed with cancer every day,” she said..

“The challenge could be 12 lengths of a pool, 12 km, 12 miles, 12 loops of a selected route, distance and method up to you, it just needs a link to 12.”

“Whatever you want to challenge yourself to do. It would be £12 and everyone that donates the £12 and completes the challenge will receive a fabulous “12”medal,” she added.

Fellow runners at Carpe Diem recently undertook the 12 for 12 challenge as did other runners around the world, with nearly 40 people taking part so far.

To donate to Mr and Mrs Ward go to

https://justgiving.com/fundraising/Charlotte-Ward22

To take part in the 12 for 12 challenge notify her via email Charlward@hotmail.com and put in the comments of the Just Giving page ’12 for 12’. She will post or deliver if the person taking part is local.