Brothers Tom and Chris Harden are running the 2016 Virgin Money London Marathon, their fourth in total, in memory of a very special woman - their mum, Sam.
In this guest blog, Chris talks us through their reasons for signing up and how they’ve approached both tough challenges when taking on a marathon - the training and fundraising.
People often ask why Tom and I signed up to run a fourth marathon together next year. Sometimes I ask myself this question, especially as it has required getting up to train when the sky is pitch black, it's snowing and raining. But there is a very special reason why we are 100% committed to running and to beating breast cancer.
Unfortunately our mum, Sam, passed away from breast cancer in 2007 after fighting a long battle with the disease for 10 years. The strength and bravery that our mum showed was so inspirational to both of us, and I think these traits will live on in us forever.
We are taking on these challenges to try and do what we believe our mum would have wanted us to do; she would not want us to be beaten by the sad times. She’d want us to get up, brush ourselves down and realise that there are people out there who are still suffering from the impacts of this disease and we can help.
We are running for Breast Cancer Now as we admire the great work that they and other breast cancer charities have done so far and we are fully behind them in helping them continue to make progress.
Nearly 11,600 women die of breast cancer each year and Tom and I will not stop fundraising until people are no longer suffering.
Both Tom and I work 5/6 days a week; Tom is an area manager for a supermarket and I am a tax adviser. This means finding time to train has been tricky, but doable! I have been running into and home from work which adds up to around 10/15 miles and then doing a long run with Tom on the weekend.
Training is of course hard, but we have the cause and memories we are running for at the forefront of our minds, so we will never stop running!
The training counts
Raising the all-important funds for the charity was top of our agenda, even before we began training! We used to organise wear it pink days when we were still at school and are hoping to organise similar events at our respective places of work, plus we also have an online fundraising page to collect the valuable donations that people send to us.
- If you would like to donate to Chris and Tom, please visit their Just Giving page
- If the brothers' story has inspired you, join #TeamNow and learn more about our charity events and challenges