Driffield News

Lucy relishing London Marathon challenge in memory of her dad

Determined runner Lucy Horsley is relishing her ‘big challenge’ ahead as she prepares to run the TCS London Marathon this autumn in memory of her dad.

The 24-year-old signed up for the 26.2-mile showpiece event last year and found out she received her place last November.

Lucy is running the marathon for the British Heart Foundation in memory of her dad, Allan, who died in 2016, aged just 54, as a result of a sudden heart attack.

Allan’s post-mortem revealed that he had an underlying heart condition called familial hypercholesterolemia, a disorder which causes LDL (bad) cholesterol levels to be very high.

The condition begins at birth and can cause heart attacks at an early age.

“I lost my dad in 2016 to a sudden heart attack when he was just 54,” explained Lucy, who lives in Elmswell.

“He was a fairly healthy man and, as it was so unexpected, a post-mortem was carried out and discovered he had familial hypercholesterolemia.

“It’s not something that anyone in our family had ever heard of, but it is genetic, so I had tests for it two years ago and it was determined that I have it too.

“My dad’s dad also died young, when he was around 40, so we believe that could have been the reason for that too.

“Familial hypercholesterolemia is more prominent in males, but my brother does not have it.

“I have to take the medicine called statins to enable me to live a normal life, just with blood tests annually.
“If I hadn’t taken the tests, I would be susceptible to a heart attack at a young age.

“The British Heart Foundation does a lot of research into familial hypercholesterolemia and provides support groups for those diagnosed with it.

“As a result, it is a charity very close to me and my family and I’m delighted to be running in aid of it.”

Initially questioning her decision to enter, Lucy is now tackling her challenge head on and last week successfully ran her first half marathon.

She began her training in January and has come a long way since then.

“I entered the London Marathon thinking that I would never get a place,” Lucy said.

“Then, when my place was confirmed, I initially thought ‘what have I done?’.

“However, since it was a charity place, I felt that I couldn’t turn it down as it was such a huge opportunity which so many people don’t get.

“I could only manage 5K when I started running in January but can now run a half marathon.

“I play rugby for Driffield too, so I had a base fitness from there and I think that helped me in some way with my mentality.

“On a rugby field, you cannot give up and quit halfway through the game and that was in my head when I completed the half marathon last week, as well as thinking of my dad.

“My target was 12 miles that night, but I thought why not make it a half marathon and pushed that extra mile.

“I’m not going to lie, it was hard, but it felt great to do it.

“I’ve had great support from my family, friends and teammates and I’m a lot more confident that I can run a marathon than I was in January.

“There’s still a long way to go, but it seems more of a realistic target now.

“It’s a really big challenge for me, but I like a challenge, whilst the thought of my dad is helping get me through the training and no doubt I will be full of emotion when I cross the finishing line in London.”

Lucy has a fundraising target of £1,500, the minimum requirement for those entering the marathon with a charity place, however, she is hoping she can double that amount.

To help with her fundraising, she is hosting an evening of dancing, eating and drinking at Highfield House on Friday 9th September, with tickets available at £15 each.

The night will include live music from The Fonics, whose lead singer hails from Kilham, as well as marathon-themed cocktails, a huge selection of wines, spirits and beers, a raffle and an auction.

“I do bar and waitressing work at Highfield House and when the owner, Andy, found out that I was running the London Marathon for British Heart Founding, he offered the house free of charge for a fundraiser,” explained Lucy.

“It’s a fantastic gesture and I cannot thank him enough.

“We have live music, a raffle and an auction, with some amazing prizes.

“The minimum fundraising target for charity places in £1,500, but I’m hoping we can get to £2,500, maybe £3,000, with help from the fundraising night.”

Raffle and auction prizes for the night include a brewery store, gym membership, vouchers, website design, afternoon tea for two and family days out.

There are also bottles of wines, pamper hampers and more up for grabs.

To book tickets for Lucy’s fundraiser at Highfield house, visit: eventbrite.co.uk/e/lucys-british-heart-foundation-fundraiser-tickets.

To donate to her cause, visit: justgiving.com/fundraising/lucy-horsley8

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