Bedford school teacher takes on marathon to raise money for best friend

Charlotte Martin London Marathon

A teacher from Bedford is in training for her first London Marathon this April, raising vital funds for Sarcoma UK following her best friend’s diagnosis with the disease.

In 2018, Charlotte Martin’s best friend, Samantha Whitbread, had her whole world turned upside down when she was diagnosed with a sarcoma cancer.

Sarcoma is an uncommon cancer that can develop in the bone or soft tissue, such as the muscle and blood vessels.

Having already competed in the gruelling Three Peaks Challenge, 5k, 10K and more recently a half marathon, Charlotte was delighted when her application for the 2020 Virgin Money London Marathon was accepted, to run on behalf of Sarcoma UK.

Sarcoma UK is a national charity that funds vital research, offers support for anyone affected by sarcoma cancer and campaigns for better treatments. It is the only cancer charity in the UK focusing on all types of sarcoma.

Charlotte said, “I was delighted when I was commended one of their charity places. Due to the closeness of this dreadful illness, my reason to focus my attention towards this charity was, of course, my extremely selfless and special friend and her continuous, battling rounds of chemo to combat this awful disease. So, what is a marathon comparably?”

She is now packing in the training miles alongside working full time as a primary school teacher and managing her family; Polly 12, Harry and Bertie 7, husband Joff and their black lab, Purdey.

Charlotte is receiving moral support from her training buddies at Transition Coaching, many of whom are also running the marathon for different charities. Transition Coaching’s Larissa Clarke is making sure that she is well on track with her training.

Fundraising so far has included cake sales and a forthcoming quiz night supported by local businesses happy to help with auction prizes to help raise funds.

Charlotte said, “After running a half marathon last year, I was adamant I would never run (long!) distance again and would stick to 5 or 10K.

“I actually thought I’d never continue running. I have never relished the thought of running, BUT, there is something so satisfying about completing any run of any distance and we all have the ability to do it with grit and determination and it is NOTHING in comparison to the suffering of those affected by sarcoma.

“I have been honoured with the responsibility to raise awareness through fundraising and running madness to help provide funds to support this worthy cause.“

 Sarcoma UK’s Chief Executive Richard Davidson, said, “We know all too well how devastating receiving a cancer diagnosis can be, so people like Charlotte really play a vital part in helping to make sure we can continue to fund more research into this cancer that is often overlooked and campaign for more drugs and treatments.

“Events like the London Marathon bring people together who have been affected by sarcoma cancer and help shine a much needed light on the fact that living with sarcoma can be an extremely difficult experience.”

You can donate to Charlotte’s justgiving page here.

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