A primary school teacher has embraced turning 40 by taking up running and completing a half marathon in support of St Catherine’s Hospice.
Elaine Lambert, a mother-of-two who teaches at Penwortham Primary School, wanted to do something positive for herself and the charity to mark her milestone birthday.
She said: “I turned 40 in February so in the lead up to it, I was thinking about doing something special and a bit different to mark the occasion. My friend Andy Jump was cared for at St Catherine’s in June last year after he was diagnosed with a brain tumour, and it just opened my eyes to the work of St Catherine’s and made we want to help.
“So as I approached my birthday, I felt like I wanted to do something for my health and my local charity; get fit for 40, and give back to the hospice which helped my friend.
“I started running and was determined to do some park runs and 10k runs, and then I decided to take on the Liverpool Half Marathon in March with my head teacher Chris Mitchell. I collected sponsorship, and also asked for donations to St Catherine’s instead of presents for my birthday.”
Elaine, from Euxton, raised a fantastic £400 for the specialist palliative and end-of-life care provided at the Lostock Hall hospice and in people’s own homes across Preston, Chorley and South Ribble.
“It meant a lot to me that people donated so much,” Elaine said. “The half marathon itself was really tough, but I felt proud of myself for completing it. I did it in two hours, five minutes and 43 seconds.
“It was really windy on the day with sleet and rain, and I was quite emotional when I finished.
“I’m so glad I’ve taken up running and will definitely keep it up. I’ve started a running club with some of the older children at school, and it feels good to motivate others to get active and look after themselves. I’m delighted that I could give back to St Catherine’s as well, after the care they offered my friend.”
Hayley Jackson, community engagement officer at the hospice, said: “Elaine should be really proud of her wonderful achievements. We’re so grateful for her efforts in raising such an amazing amount for St Catherine’s to mark her special birthday, and would like to say a very big ‘thank you’ to Elaine and everyone who supported her.
“As an independent charity, we have to raise a staggering £3.8m of our annual £5.6m running costs each year, and we simply wouldn’t be able to continue providing care for local people with life-shortening conditions at the hospice and in the community, without the incredible support of people like Elaine.”