Meet the siblings running the London Marathon in memory of their mum - Women's Running

Meet the siblings running the London Marathon in memory of their mum

Author: Women's Running Magazine

Read Time:   |  March 13, 2015

Rosie Fenella and Will Martin

Twenty-four-year-old Rosie Martin and her two siblings, Will and Ella, will this year run the Virgin Money London Marathon in memory of their mum.

Their mother, Sand Martin, passed away in 2014 after a three month battle against ovarian cancer. An avid runner, Sand’s children made a promise to Sand before she died that they would run London in her memory.

Speaking to Rosie about her decision to run London Marathon for her mother she said: ‘We’re all into running because of mum. Mum use to run all of the time. The year before she died she ran every single day.

‘My dad’s in the army and they used to travel a lot, so she ran lots of 5Ks. She ran the Street Child 5K in Sierre Leone. She also did the Bath Half Marathon in 2009. She encouraged me to run.’

Amazingly, it was Sand’s running that drew her attention to her illness. After signing up to the Brighton Half Marathon with Rosie in 2013, the pair were in training together when Sand started to feel unwell. ‘She felt she couldn’t recover after long runs,’ said Rosie, ‘it was that that made her aware of what was going on.’

After having a hysterectomy, Sand thought everything would be fine, but after having chemotherapy in the new year and not getting any better, the cancer got increasingly worse and spread rapidly. ‘We had about ten days when we found out she was not going to make it and me and my sister and brother were joking like “we’re going to run a marathon now”,’ Rosie told us.

Sticking to their promise, Rosie, Ella and Will are now in training for the Virgin Money London Marathon next month, running for Macmillan.

‘Running and training together has been a really good way to grieve in a way,’ Rosie told us. ‘Actually getting a marathon place was such a good thing to focus on. I didn’t realise it was so competitive but we wanted to run for quite a high profile cancer charity.’

When we asked Rosie why the siblings chose Macmillan as their cancer charity she explained that Macmillan couldn’t have been more helpful during their mother’s illness.

‘It’s such a stressful time and they just take over and make your life that little bit easier,’ she said. ‘There’s all of this stuff they sort out for you that you don’t even realise such as district nurses coming home so we didn’t have to do anything really they just did it all for us.’

Rosie and her sister aim to run London in under five hours and her brother in under four.

‘It’s been a horrific year so me, my brother and my sister all concentrated on this and it’s become a really nice way of talking about my mum in a really positive way.’

To donate to Rosie, Ella and Will’s Just Giving page visit:

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