Marathon mission in memory of her sister

KEEPING FIT Deirdre Howell
KEEPING FIT Deirdre Howell
Fellow student Bethany Toon, 17, with Bruce Wetherill, 25, at St Vincent College, Gosport  Picture: Neil Marshall (171028-16)

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SHE’S cycled to Paris and back three times, and conquered the Great South Run and the Race for Life.

Now Deirdre Howell is preparing for her biggest challenge yet – running her first marathon.

The 57-year-old, from Falklands Close in Lee-on-the-Solent, has been pounding the streets in preparation to take on 26.2 miles at the Brighton marathon on April 10 all for Cancer Research UK.

She has raised more than £11,000 in memory of her sister Elaine Fisher since she lost her battle with breast cancer 10 years ago, at the age of 48.

Mrs Howell said that her sister would have been pleased with her efforts.

‘I’m quite chuffed, knowing that I have raised that kind of money,’ she said.

‘She would be absolutely over the moon for what I do.’

Speaking about the Brighton marathon, she added: ‘It’s something I have never done.

‘I’m in training for it now and I’m up to about 13 or 14 miles. I hope I get through it. I don’t know until the day but if I can’t run it I will end up walking it.

‘It will be a bit of a challenge. But I’ll push myself to do it.’

Mrs Howell said the support from her family and her colleagues at the University of Portsmouth has been second to none.

‘The people at work are really good and really support me,’ she said.

‘I just thought if I can raise money into research to try to get a cure for this then that’s great. A lot of people don’t know what they go through.

‘When you see the Race for Life and you see the number of women and you see why they are doing it, that’s quite choking.’

To support Deirdre, please email deirdre.howell@port.ac.uk.