Each year in the UK there are almost 200,000 hospital visits due to a heart attack. Although survival rates have improved since the British Heart Foundation (BHF) started funding research into new treatments, 180 people die from heart attacks in the UK each day.
Rachel will be running the Brighton Marathon for the BHF in memory of her father, John. When Rachel was just 15, John tragically passed away due to a heart attack whilst on a family holiday in Cornwall.
Having always been a keen runner, Rachel felt it was now the right moment to take on the challenge of completing a marathon in the name of her Dad. Running to raise funds for the BHF was a decision that made sense to her, due to a history of heart disease in the family. John’s father also passed away at a young age.
“It’s taken me some time to commit to doing something like this. I think mentally I always had a slight block stopping me but now I feel I am ready to take the opportunity and raise as much money as I can to support the cause”.
Rachel knows the challenge won’t be easy, but she draws upon memories of her dad for inspiration. She explains how the thought of making him proud has kept her motivated throughout her training.
“I’ve always enjoyed running but haven’t really done anything over 10km. Since starting the longer distances, I do at times become nostalgic and think about the reason why I am doing it. It makes me keep going”.
The whole experience of training and fundraising for the event is very exciting for Rachel, but for her, crossing the finish line will bring mixed emotions. “I’ll be happy that I have raised money for a charity that’s really important to me, sad I have completed it without the person with me that I’m running for, and absolutely shattered!”
Champions like Rachel have helped get us this far – heart transplants, clot busing drugs, genetic testing and so much more. But we’re not over the line yet. When you run for the British Heart Foundation, you don’t just run to beat heart attacks. You run to beat the world’s biggest killers. Conditions like heart diseases, strokes and vascular dementia. You run to fund research that helps to keep families together.
For anyone thinking of taking on the Brighton Marathon themselves, Rachel would urge them to sign up. “It doesn’t matter if you run, walk it or crawl it. It’ll be worth it in the end!”
So sign up today and fix your eyes on the finish line. Because together, we can beat heartbreak forever. #BHFChampions.