Havant runners set to complete their own landmarks half-marathon for Alzheimer's research
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Rachel Harris, who works at Springwood Park pre-school, in Middle Park Way, had hoped to run the London Landmarks Half Marathon on Sunday March 29.
More than 14,000 people were due to run alongside her in London, completing a route that would take them past St Paul's Cathedral, the Tower of London and Big Ben.
But the coronavirus outbreak meant the event was cancelled, cutting short the fundraising Rachel was undertaking for a cause very close to her heart.
The 33-year-old said: ‘I was very disappointed when the event was cancelled.
‘I entered to raise money for Alzheimer's Research UK – my dad has the condition and he moved to a care home in Fareham 18 months ago.
‘I thought that all my training had gone to waste, and I wouldn’t be able to raise any more money.’
But her friend – a regular member of the weekly Havant parkrun – wasn’t going to let her bow out and has planned for the pair to run from Chichester train station to Staunton Country Park this Sunday, now that changes to the lockdown measures allow them to run together. They say they will ensure social distancing rules are observed.
Joanne Stanford, who works in Hobbycraft in Havant, said: ‘I said, ‘no-one goes through all that training not to do it.’
‘It certainly is easier finishing a race when you have support there for you.’
The 43-year-old will run alongside her friend carrying water, energy gels, and a homemade medal for when their pair complete the route – leaving Rachel touched by the gesture of support.
She said: ‘I’ve never done anything like this before, and I am feeling a little bit frightened by it.
‘It’s wonderful knowing I’ll have my friend there to support me all the way.’
Rachel is continuing to raise money for Alzheimer's Research UK, having raised more than £400 through her fundraising page.