Why are you running and what drew you to fundraise for the Hospice?

I’m running in memory of my wonderful dad, David Clayton. Dad passed away at Severn Hospice, Shrewsbury in April 2022, aged 67. After a short illness (Acute Myeloid Leukaemia) he spent his final hours in the best place possible with his family by his side.

We will be eternally grateful to the staff and volunteers at the hospice who were kind, compassionate and treated my dad with the upmost respect and dignity.

This will be my third London marathon, having done the Virtual one in 2020 and the real thing in 2022.

Fortunately my dad saw me complete the virtual marathon and he was my loudest cheerleader! There isn’t a day that goes by when I don’t miss him. The memories of him will get me through my training and the event.

As my dad would say, ‘life is not a dress rehearsal’ and so when opportunities like this arise we have to grab them!

If I can raise enough money to ensure that another family has the same experience as we did then it will all be worth it.

If it is for someone, who they were, what they meant to you, what would they think of you doing this?

My dad would be completely behind me doing this and would be supporting me every step of the way. He would be checking in with me to make sure that I am getting enough rest and that I am fuelling myself properly. I would have updated him on every training run on WhatsApp after the event. He would have watched the marathon on the TV and been tracking my progress on the App.

I hope that he would be proud of me.

What are your biggest fears or anything you need to overcome?

My biggest fear now is injury. I sprained my ankle just before the Great North Run last year and so I am being extra cautious in my training now.

What’s your best training incentive / help – a song maybe, food etc?

When the training is tough I put on the playlist that my sister and I made for our dad when he passed away. That keeps me going. At the end of every long run I have a bag of hula hoops and an orange juice or Fanta in a nice warm bath and so I look forward to that as count down the miles.

What do you want to get out of running in this amazing world-renowned event?

Having done the London Marathon once, I want to experience it again. It really was one of the best days of my life. The encouragement all of the way round is incredible and I cannot wait to be part of such a well-known and well-supported event again. The feeling at the end crossing the line is like nothing I have ever felt before. One of the things I am looking forward to is the views of London from the middle of the street, which you would never get when visiting on a normal day.

What support are you getting from family / friends?

I am fortunate to have a fantastic support network, including my husband, my sister and four-year-old niece, my mum and her husband and my auntie and uncle. I am part of a super bootcamp training group (run by my husband) who are all behind me. I’m registered on Strava and get a lift from the kudos and comments that my running friends give me too.

Anything else you would like to add?

Everyone at Severn Hospice is thanking us for doing this to support the work that they do. As I said at our runner’s welcome meeting, I feel privileged and honoured to be able to do this for the hospice. Although dad was at Bicton Heath for a very short period, it made all of the difference to him and to his family. We can never repay that debt but this is a start.

Inspired by Bryony’s story? Click here to donate to her page.


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