A HARTLEPOOL woman is all set to face one of the biggest challenges of her life.
Kathryn Jacques, 27, is running the Virgin Money London Marathon on Sunday for the blood cancer charity Anthony Nolan.
She wants to raise £1,850 and has now reached £1,607.
In another boost, she has also stepped up the miles and is now managing more than 20 miles per session in training.
She told the Mail: “As well as a 16-mile run and some shorter, faster runs, I did my final and longest training run before I began my taper ahead of the London Marathon.
“I was so relieved when my running watch ticked over to 20 miles, not only because I knew I could soon stop and rest, but also because it was really important to me to know that I’d ran that distance before the day.
The kindness and generosity of friends, family and strangers has been overwhelming.
“Some parts of the run, especially the long straight of Brenda Road, were barren and it felt tough, especially as it was warm and I had run out of water, but I pushed through it as I knew I’d be glad that I did when I reached home.”
Now comes the big day itself and Kathryn said: “I’m feeling excited and nervous in equal measure about the London Marathon. I’m hoping it won’t be too hot as that will make it a lot harder. I think I’d actually prefer torrential rain to intense heat, but hopefully it won’t be either and will be a mild day.
“I’ve stocked up on jelly babies to keep me going and everyone keeps reminding me that the crowd will push me through the final stretch on the day.”
Kathryn joined the Anthony Nolan bone marrow register in 2009, when she was still at university in London. She has remained there ever since but returns to town regularly.
Kathryn, who has lived in London since September 2010 but whose parents still live in the Foggy Furze area, said: “My fundraising total is currently £1,607 so I’m now £243 from reaching my £1,850 target.
“The kindness and generosity of friends, family and strangers has been overwhelming.”
It costs £100 for Anthony Nolan to recruit and look after a potential bone marrow donor.
Kathryn said: “Up to now we have added 16 donors to the Anthony Nolan register.
“That’s sixteen people who have the potential to save a life.
“When I think of it that way, all the aches and pains are more than worth it.
l To sponsor Kathryn, visit www.uk.virginmoneygiving.com/KathrynJacques or text LMKJ87 £2, £3 or £5 to 70070.