Sophie’s challenge in memory of dad

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An Ilkeston woman is aiming to complete six half-marathons to raise funds in memory of her father.

Sophie Edmonds, 24, will run the marathons for Macmillan Cancer Support exactly 15 years after her father Mark was cruelly taken by the disease aged just 48.

Sophie, who lives in Ilkeston and is a customer adviser at the Nottingham Building Society’s Wollaton branch, has already completed gruelling 13-mile runs in Liverpool and Leeds.

Over the next few months she will pound the streets in Derby, Sheffield, Newcastle and Worksop.

And it will be the thought of what her dad, who first developed skin cancer and then deteriorated at the hands of other forms of the illness, went through that will spur her on through the sweat and the tears.

She said: “My sister Michelle, who is a fantastic support, coach and running partner, and I came up with the idea of six half marathons and are now looking at possibly even extending the number of runs to 15 - to represent one for each year since our amazing dad died.

“He is the number one influence behind this as I was only nine when he died and I wanted to do something to not only show we still think about him as a family every day but also to help raise vital funds for Macmillan, which is a wonderful cause helping the many people and their families struck down by the cruel illness.

“However, I won’t deny that comedian Eddie Izzard’s incredible feat in completing 27 marathons in as many days has also played a part. His amazing efforts and the words he has been saying about how anyone can get up and do something similar have really inspired me to push on with this.

“I may not be running quite as far as he did but I can certainly empathise regarding the pain and blisters - and the overwhelming feeling of achievement and emotion when you cross the finishing line too.”

Sophie also wanted to stress the brilliant backing she’s had from two other special people in her life.

She added: “My boyfriend Rob is my biggest supporter and I can’t thank him enough. He gives up so much of his time to come along and encourage me and is always there at the finish line.

“And my mum is always texting or phoning to see how I’m getting on. I couldn’t do any of it without her. I have never met a stronger person. After losing my dad she carried on and brought two girls up on her own. She is a huge inspiration to my sister and I.”

To show your support and sponsor Sophie, visit