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Run tribute to ill friend
1:10pm Thursday 14th March 2013 in News
A RUNNER will be tackling the London Marathon for charity after being inspired to raise money for cancer research.
After a close friend was diagnosed with leukaemia, Justin Watts, of Walcot, decided he wanted to help in the battle against the disease.
“I was so shocked when she got the illness,” said 42-year-old Justin, a production team leader.
“We’re a similar age and I didn’t think it was possible to get so ill.”
Nita Forty was diagnosed 18 months ago and her bravery and courage has been all the motivation Justin needed.
“She’s been my inspiration,” he said.
“Even when things have got bad she always has a smile on her face and is really upbeat.”
Justin is hoping to collect more than £2,000 for CHILDREN with CANCER UK, a charity first inaugurated by Princess Diana that has raised more than £150million for research and treatment of childhood cancer.
“After deciding to do the run I went online and searched for a good charity. CHILDREN with CANCER UK is a great cause and has done so much,” said Justin.
“There will be about 1,300 of us running for this charity. We are all wearing Mr Men and Little Miss T-shirts so it will be easy to spot us”
The charity is hoping to get enough runners to allow them to race a combined distance of 25,000 miles to celebrate their 25th anniversary.
Ben Twyman, head of events with the charity, said: “It’s a special year for us and we are thrilled that Justin has joined our team.
“Whilst we have made great advances over the past 25 years, we are more committed and determined than ever to fund life-saving research.”
Although the training has been tough, Justin believes he is fully prepared for the race in April and has taken part in some smaller races to get himself ready.
“I have been in training since October last year. It has been going really well but there are some days when it is tough. Training can be very psychological,” he said.
“Last week I did the Silverstone Half Marathon in two hours and 11 minutes which I was really pleased with.
“But the next time I went out training I had to stop after nine miles, so I’ve still got work to do.”
However, whilst knowing he is running for a good cause, Justin is not sure whether this race will be a one time thing.
“I’ve not decided if I’m going to do any more races. I’ll probably just wait until I’ve got over the knocks of this race before I make any decisions.”
To sponsor Justin visit http://uk.virginmoneygiving/justinwatts1. Also see www.childrenwithcancer.org.uk