‘The thought of my son will be in in my mind’

Robert Harkness from Horndean who is running the London Marathon in memory of his son who died soon after he was born.'Picture: Ian Hargreaves  (13544-3)

Robert Harkness from Horndean who is running the London Marathon in memory of his son who died soon after he was born.'Picture: Ian Hargreaves (13544-3)

0
Have your say

Life is incredibly difficult for anyone who loses someone close to them.

Robert Harkness knew all too well the meaning of those words after his 25-day-old son died in 2002.

Now the inspirational 38-year-old, who lives in Kefford Close, Horndean, will lace up his running shoes in memory of him.

Robert has set himself the challenge of running the London Marathon on April 21.

And he will do it to raise money for the children’s hospice Naomi House, which cared for his baby boy.

And while Robert knows how incredible the experience of taking part in the race will be, he admits that it will be a daunting task.

‘I’m not too sure how I’m feeling about it – I guess I’m nervous in a way,’ he says.

‘But I’m quietly confident and it’s a goal of mine which I want to achieve.

‘Running a marathon is no mean feat.

‘I’ve been running 50 to 60 miles a week to set myself up for it.

‘I’m quite excited about starting and finishing the race.

‘I would say it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity.

‘I’ve tried applying before but I’ve been fortunate this time around.

Robert, who is a chef for Fuller’s pub The Hampshire Hog, in Clanfield, hopes to finish in less than three hours and 30 minutes.

But he says he won’t push himself too hard because he doesn’t know what to expect on the day.

‘The thought of my son will be in my mind but I can’t let it take over because I’ve got to concentrate,’ he says.

‘Every time I’m out training, his memory is there.’

In October last year Robert took part in the Bupa Great South Run 10-mile race and did the 1.5k mini-run with his six-year-old daughter Evie, who managed to raise £250 for the Naomi House hospice, which is based in Winchester.

Robert also has an extra motivation to make a difference – his sister Amanda Robertson, 38, died of leukaemia the year before his son’s passing.

Robert, who is originally from Scotland, says: ‘I don’t feel that Naomi House gets enough attention from Joe public.

‘I want to make people more aware of the fact there is a fantastic children’s hospice in the area.’

So far Robert has raised £1,360 towards his target of £2,500.

‘Work has helped me raise money and so have my friends and family, so that’s great,’ he says.

To donate visit virginmoneygiving.com/robertharkness

Back to the top of the page