SHEFFIELD teaching assistant Lucy Parker is setting out on a marathon mission in memory of her cousin.
The 28-year-old, from Grenoside, will run more than 100 miles in 10 different races to raise money for CLIC Sargent, a cancer charity for children and young people.
Her cousin Ryan Francis died aged 18 in 2011 after a lifelong battle against cancer.
The charity supported him and his family, from Newcastle, through his illness.
Lucy, who works as a teaching assistant in Manchester, said: “I want to raise money for CLIC Sargent because they are so supportive.
“I hope Ryan would be proud of me – his parents have been very supportive of what I’m doing.
“We are a close family and Ryan and I were especially close when we were younger.”
Lucy has already completed the first stage of her challenge – a half marathon in Northampton last month.
She will now also run the Sheffield Half Marathon, Rother Valley 10k, Bolton 10k, Manchester Marathon, Manchester 10k, Morecambe 10k, Blackpool Summer 10k, Blackpool Half Marathon, and the Great North Run, over a period of six months.
She said: “I was just going to do one 10k run, but a friend offered to sponsor me £1 for every mile I did – and then I did some adding up and was inspired to do more.”
Lucy said her first race was difficult across boggy cross-country, when she was used to training on the roads, but she had enjoyed it – but she predicts the 13-mile Sheffield Half Marathon will prove her toughest challenge, even more than the 26-mile Manchester Marathon.
“I think the Sheffield Half Marathon will be the hardest to run because it’s so hilly. The first half is all uphill.”
Lucy has raised £400 so far, but is aiming for £1,000.
She will be holding bake sales at work to help her get to her total.
She said: “My family have been fantastic and my boyfriend waited for three hours in the freezing cold in Northampton for me.”
Lucy is also hoping to run the Amsterdam Marathon in October if she can save enough money for flights.
n To sponsor Lucy visit UK.virginmoneygiving.com/lucyparker3