Martlesham woman to run marathon and climb mountains at home in memory of late grandfathers
- Credit: NICHOLA WHYMARK/BHF
A Suffolk woman is completing 20 ambitious challenges at home for the British Heart Foundation – including running a marathon – after losing loved ones to cardiac arrests.
Nichola Whymark, 43, was inspired to do the 20 challenges in 2020 for the British Heart Foundation, and had signed up to events such as the Ipswich Twilight Race and the Manchester Marathon.
But due to the coronavirus pandemic, Mrs Whymark has seen most events cancelled – and is now adapting her plans to complete them at home.
Among her plans include completing a marathon in her garden on May 24 and a stair climb the equivalent height of the popular three peaks challenge.
Mrs Whymark, who works as fundraising manager for the charity, said she was inspired to get involved following the death of her grandfathers Leslie Hutchinson and Henry Wright, and father-in-law Gerald Richardson – who all died after suffering a cardiac arrest.
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Mrs Whymark, from Martlesham Heath, added: “I miss my grandads and father-in-law so very much and they are always in my thoughts.
“They were all brilliant wonderful people with such fantastic characters. They were very strong people and I think that’s partly where I get my determination and resilience from.
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“I have seen the devastating impact this has on not only the families but also on them before they passed away.
“I love the British Heart Foundation for everything they do into heart and circulatory diseases and want to use these challenges as an opportunity to raise as much as I can for them and their work.
“It’s disappointing that I’m not able to carry out some of the outdoor events as planned, but I set myself a challenge and I’m not letting a global pandemic stop me.”
Mrs Whymark’s grandmother Jean Hutchinson has also suffered with heart conditions, having required triple bypass surgery.
In Suffolk alone, there are an estimated 98,000 people living with heart and circulatory diseases – claiming around 2,000 lives every year.
Mrs Whymark added: “I want to do this in memory of them all. I hope I am making them proud.
“In difficult and uncertain times that we are in any donation or support, however big or small will mean so much.”
Those who wish to donate to her fundraising challenge can do so here.