Over 550 runners at Southend's first Run to Remember Marathon on 12th March will receive a special welcome from staff and patients at Fair Havens Hospice on their two-lap, 26.2 mile route.
Karen Brodrick, Deputy Ward Sister, has been caring for patients and their families at the hospice for over 10 years and will be playing a crucial role in the Southend Marathon: leading the cheering party outside Fair Havens Hospice as the runners pass by.
"I think the dedication and commitment people put in is absolutely amazing. Like many people I've thought about doing a marathon - but that's all! But these runners give it all they've got, and in the process raise money to care for patients and their families. It's humbling to know how far people are willing to go to help".
Karen came into nursing after having her family.
"I think nursing was something I always wanted to do, but life got in the way! Then I started doing nights in a care home and the Night Sister suggested I take it further. I did my professional qualification and came to Fair Havens Hospice as a student nurse - and I knew straight away this was where I wanted to be. At the Hospice we are fortunate to meet such amazing people in such difficult circumstances, and we can learn so much from them. Recently I had the honour of sitting with a wonderful young woman whilst she planned her funeral. She was younger than me, and yet was able to face her limited future with such strength; I felt privileged to be there with her. At this Marathon I will remember her and all the patients I have cared for.
"It means a huge amount to staff, patients and families to know that the local community are supporting them, and many are already excited about the Run to Remember Marathon. We all have special people we want to remember, so some will be joining me in the cheering squad outside, and others will be opening their windows and cheering from their rooms - so we intend to make quite some noise!"
Runners can sign up online for the UK Athletics approved Run to Remember Marathon until 28th February, unfortunately there will be no entries allowed on the day. Entry fee is £40 for Club Runners, £42 for non-affiliated runners. There will be some road closures on the day to accommodate the Marathon, and affected local residents will be notified in advance.
"The runners will start at East Beach, Shoebury, and we'd love as many people as possible to line their route - join us on 12th March to cheer these amazing runners on".
To sign up or for more information, visit havenshospices.org.uk/southendmarathon