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Mother’s Day will be particularly poignant for Julia Harrison on Sunday as she prepares to run a half marathon in memory of her late mum.
The teacher from the Arran, who lost her mum through bowel cancer is raising money for the charity, and in a personal victory has also lost 5 stone whilst in training.
It was a devastating blow when Julia Harrison lost her mum to cancer. She was just 20 and her mum was only 54 years old.
Ten years on, Julia will be pounding the streets of the London Landmarks half marathon on March 25 with her mum’s memory very much alive. She will also be raising money for the charity Bowel & Cancer Research.
The English teacher at Arran High School took up running a year ago. She thought it might be a good way of losing a few pounds.
‘I was watching some friends taking part in the Goatfell race. I’d never been a runner but I thought if they can run up a mountain, surely I should be able to run for 20 minutes,’ said Julia.
‘I started by going from the couch to 5k – then I got addicted to pushing myself, and the distances got longer. At the same time, I lost 5 stone. A half marathon just seemed to occur. I thought it would be good to run for a charity that would have meant something to my mum.
‘Anyone who knows me will also know that my running journey has only started recently, and to run 13.1 miles is a huge challenge – but it’s one I’m determined to achieve. It won’t be pretty, or quick, but I’m really excited!’
Julia’s big challenge is a new half marathon taking runners from Pall Mall through the City via St Paul’s Cathedral, Trafalgar Square, the Gherkin, the Shard, the Tower of London and the London Eye.
On the day, friends will be there to cheer her on whilst her dad Doug is in Arran, looking after her running mate, her yellow Labrador Hayley.
Julia said: ‘She’s a great companion. She just runs at my side and keeps me going. The only trouble is that she’s faster than me.’
As for her lovely mum, Angela: ‘She’d be really shocked but pleased – about my weight and about the running. Her illness was my first experience with bowel cancer, and I realised how very little I knew about it before, despite it being an incredibly common cancer in the UK.
‘I now know that weight is a contributory factor to bowel disease so my running has meant good news all round,’ Julia added.
Chief Executive of Bowel & Cancer Research Deborah Gilbert thanked Julia for her support. ‘Our mission to ensure that no one should die of bowel cancer in future and we can only do that with the support of wonderful fundraisers like Julia.’
Anyone who wants to support Julia can do so at https://www. bowelcancerresearch.org/ fundraisers/jkh
Julia, pictured with her dog Hayley, will run the London Landmarks half marathon to raise money for bowel cancer research. NO_B10mum01