Rebecca Hurst, as she herself acknowledges: “doesn’t do things by halves”.
And so, when the devoted Crystal Palace fan who counts Geoff Thomas as one of her heroes, decided to fundraise for Cure Leukaemia, simply taking part in one event was never going to be enough!
Rebecca, widely known as ‘Becs’, has decided to take on a ’12 in 12’ challenge, which will involve completing at least one half-marathon, every month, for a year.
The tapes go up on the half marathon challenge with the Saturn running event in Reading this Sunday (September 2nd) and, will come to an end in some style, with a Run Disney event next year in Paris.
And that means Rebecca will be both taking on the first and last races of her ’12 in 12’ challenge during September, which is Blood Cancer Awareness Month.
The 41-year-old from Bromley is taking on the challenge having been involved in the fundraising day with Cure Leukaemia at Palace’s Premier League fixture with Southampton last September.
But, as she explains, there is now an even bigger motivation to fundraise for a charity in Cure Leukaemia which is aiming to eradicate all forms of blood cancer.
“My Uncle, John, was diagnosed with lymphoma at the end of May,” says Rebecca.
“He has been wearing a facemask and undergoing treatment and so far things are looking positive which is good news.
“It has made me want to get out and show support for people undergoing treatment, and I already had that link with Cure Leukaemia following the collection we did with the Crystal Palace Foundation.
“I was fortunate enough to meet Geoff that day, one of my idols who I remember watching as a lifelong Palace fan!
“We didn’t have much time to chat but it was great to say hello.
“It is incredible to see what he continues to do for Cure Leukaemia with all the fundraising and especially the bike rides, given what he went through with his treatment.
“He is an inspiration and makes me think that if he is still doing all that now, then I should at least be able to do something to show my support.
“So I was thinking, ‘what can I do’? Well, I can run!”
Although not previously a regular runner, Rebecca has quickly got into her stride, completing the London Marathon this year as well as several half marathons.
She also took part in an ‘Ultra Marathon’, albeit walking the distance with a friend, and also plans to take part in an ‘Endure 24’ event in Leeds, described as like ‘Glastonbury for runners’, given it is a 24-hour ‘running party’!
The home straight may be some way off as Rebecca sets out on her marathon journey this weekend, but it is certainly a fantastic target to aim for.
“I am a bit of a Disney freak to that is the perfect way for me to finish,” adds Rebecca, whose work in the childcare industry allows some flexibility during the day which helps with her training programme.
“It is a weekend of running with a 5km event, a 10km, and then a half marathon.
“I certainly don’t do things by halves, and my friends and family think I am mad!
“But nothing phases me really, and in terms of all the events I just have to make sure I keep putting the running hours in and don’t let the training slip.
“I am really looking forward to the challenge, and raising money for such a great and important cause.”
Geoff Thomas said: ‘I’d like to wish Rebecca the very best of luck for her fantastic challenge.
It’s great that the Crystal Palace family continue to support Cure Leukaemia and I really hope the fans all get behind Rebecca during her big challenge.
Every penny raised will go towards helping blood cancer patients who are in a similar position I found myself in 15 years ago so I would urge people to get behind Rebecca to directly help those patients today."
To support Rebecca in her '12 in 12’ challenge and donate to Cure Leukaemia, click HERE
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