Policeman’s 56 marathons in 56 weeks in mum’s memory

Martin Anderson, MPLO

Martin Anderson, MPLO

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There’s no disputing that a policeman is making a marathon effort to raise money in memory of his mum.

PC Martin Anderson has just embarked on the gruesome challenge of running a marathon a week for 56 weeks.

PC Martin Anderson with his mum Sylvia Blake.

PC Martin Anderson with his mum Sylvia Blake.

The 35-year-old Leighton Buzzard man is putting his stamina to the test in aid of Rennie Grove Hospice Care following the death of his mum Sylvia Blake from gall bladder cancer.

Martin, 35, a police officer serving in Hemel Hempstead, said: “I lost my amazing mum on April 30, 2013 to cancer. She was an incredible woman, and my sisters and I miss her every day.

“Towards the end, my mum made us promise that we would look after her at home, as she didn’t want to go back to hospital.

“It was at this point that the support staff and nurses from the Iain Rennie Hospice At Home charity stepped in to help us. There was nothing that these wonderful people wouldn’t do for us to help mum feel comfortable in her final weeks, and I know that mum was grateful for everything they did for her.

So far I’ve put on music festivals, run 62 miles along Hadrian’s Wall and conquered the mighty Sahara Desert. So I knew this year, my challenge had to be something huge!

“Losing my mum has been the very hardest thing I’ve had to deal with. I think of her countless times every single day, and the world is worse off without her smile and character in it.

“Seeing what the charity did for us and knowing what a difference it made, I decided to do my best to raise money for them as long as I am able.

“So far I’ve put on music festivals, run 62 miles along Hadrian’s Wall and conquered the mighty Sahara Desert. So I knew this year, my challenge had to be something huge!”

On April 1, which would’ve been Mrs Blake’s 70th birthday, Martin ran his first marathon and he will now continue with the challenge to run one a week, with the last one on April 30, 2016 – the three-year anniversary of the day Mrs Blake, who lived in Hemel Hempstead, died. For his last challenge he plans to run from his mums home in Bennetts End to Grove House day hospice in St Albans, where his mum attended.

Martin added: “This challenge will comprise of a mixture of organised events and me just lacing up my running shoes and taking on local routes.”

PC Anderson, a runner with Gade Valley Harriers in Hemel Hempstead, is hoping to raise £10,000 for the charity which helps people with cancer and other life-limiting illness and their families.

Gillian Barnett, director of fundraising and marketing at Rennie Grove Hospice Care, said: “Martin’s commitment to fundraising for Rennie Grove is so inspiring. Support like this is hugely important so that we can continue to provide our services for other local families, and I wish him the best of luck for his upcoming marathons.”

To sponsor Martin visit his fundraising page. Martin is also looking for local businesses who might like to sponsor him during the year and help pay for entry to the marathons or transport.