Kirsty Makin, 34 from Bury, has a property development business that she set up with her late husband Tom. She has two young daughters aged four and one. She is running the marathon in memory of Tom to raise money…
I decided to do the marathon in memory of my husband Tom who passed away in June 2019 from osteosarcoma, a form of bone cancer. Tom was first diagnosed with cancer in 2011, aged just 21, and then went on to have two reoccurrences. He had just turned 29 when he passed away and our youngest daughter was just eight weeks old. Just before Tom’s first diagnosis, he had just been accepted to run the marathon but obviously had to pull out so wanted to complete it on his behalf.
It will be my first marathon. I have never been a keen runner but have always had the urge to do the London Marathon. I am into fitness and go to the gym several times a week but running was never really my strong point!
The pandemic has had a massive effect on the training for the marathon – physically and mentally. I am running with some of Tom’s friends, ‘Tom’s Team’ and so when we went into lockdown in March it meant that all our group efforts to run together had to stop. As a result, I pretty much stopped running for a good few weeks, as I lacked the motivation to keep going and also lack of time with two little ones to look after 24/7. We only decided to do the virtual marathon late in the day so training time has been limited but I am a believer that the marathon is not only physical endurance but a mental one too and confident that myself and the rest of the team can get through it on Sunday.
It certainly isn’t going to be marathon we originally had imagined! With no crowds to cheer you along or the atmosphere, I actually believe it is going to be harder than an ordinary marathon! I am lucky that I am running with some of Tom’s friends – and so we will pull each other through it on the day. All socially distanced of course. There are a few people who will cheer us on along the way too which is going to a welcome distraction!
As for the route, we live in one of the hilliest areas! So we have chosen the run part of the route along the canal where it is a bit flatter. We will be starting at Manchester City football stadium as Tom was a massive fan… then go along the canal to Rochdale before making our way to Tom’s final resting place. We will lay flowers on at his headstone as we reach the finish line.
I am running with some of Toms friends, Ashleigh, Luke and Ryan who made up part of the original ‘Tom’s Team’ and my brother in law Chris and a few others will join along the route! My girls, Tom’s family, my parents and some of our friends will be there at various points cheering us on and handing out jelly babies!
My plan is not to look at my watch – I don’t want to see how far I have run.. just keep moving is going to be my motto on the day! And when times get tough we will blast out some cheesy music to try and keep our spirits up. And when I hit the wall which is inevitable, I will think of Tom and everything he went through and the love he had for us all – that will get me through.
I will be fundraising for Sarcoma UK – the only charity to fund support, advice and most importantly research into ground-breaking treatments to people with sarcoma. Sarcoma treatment has not progressed in over 20 years and survival rates are relatively low so research into this cruel disease may just make a difference to someone in the future. Osteosarcoma affects adolescents and young adults and it is devastating to think that these people don’t have a chance in life! I was in touch with 6 other young people all under 30 during Toms treatment and unfortunately all but one of them has now died. It is truly devastating.
My goal is just to complete the marathon. We have been stunned by the level of donations we have received and so want to do everyone proud! But given the last minute nature of our training we have no time in mind – just to get over the finish line and hopefully together.