With a Power Ranger to boot!
One of our KWp prolific parkrunners celebrated their 6th anniversary of being cancer free on Saturday. You may be forgiven for thinking she kept this quiet because she doesn't like to head-line, although you could not be more wrong.
If this were the case she would not looking to head-line again soon in completing her 50th parkrun.
Anyone else would have planned ahead and stolen the limelight once. Not Louise Vernon.
Not one of our quieter participants, Louise is a regular contributor to photographs, Run Reports and the like and it is perhaps time we took our hats off to her. At 34 years old and being diagnosed with the most aggressive kind of breast cancer, Louise wasn’t sure she would see 40. She did. And now Louise is making life count.
Here is Louise's story;
"Cancer inspired me to run. If I could beat cancer, I could put my mind to running any distance,” says Louise
Louise has completed several 10k races as well as three half marathons. She is now training for her first marathon which she will complete exactly seven years after she was first diagnosed with breast cancer.
Just a few days before turning 35, Louise received the diagnosis of grade 3 breast cancer, the most aggressive kind. After two failed types of chemotherapy and an emergency mastectomy, she went on to a third type of chemo treatment.
With radiotherapy treatment to follow, some 10 months after the diagnosis the treatment finished leaving Louise unsure of her future as this type of cancer is the likeliest to reoccur within 2 years.
Louise had to try and give herself a fighting chance to live. Being a healthy weight and not drinking would help reduce the odds of reoccurrence. Louise gave up alcohol and changed her diet.
At the first chemo session her weight was over 13.5 stone (85kg) with a BMI of over 30. By the time treatment finished treatment, Louise was about 3 stone (19kg) lighter.
Once the treatment was finished Louise started swimming, got a bike and walked wherever she could.
“Turning 40 was a huge milestone. I never expected to live that long, so I was going to mark it in a big way. In the months leading up to my 40th birthday I undertook 40 fundraising challenges - some physical, some just for fun - to raise money and awareness of my chosen charity. I collected over £1600 and had some amazing experiences along the way.”
Shortly after her 40th birthday Louise got the all clear. On New Year’s Day 2016 she signed up for her first 10k race. She completed her first parkrun in March 2016.
“I was hooked on running. Before the year was out I’d completed several 10k events, got my time down to 1:01 and had completed my very first half marathon in 2:19 on a tricky course. My cancer inspired me to run. I could see changes to my body shape and when I looked in the mirror I was proud of what I saw. When things get tough on a long run I think about where I’ve been and remember those who aren’t as lucky as I am,” says Louise.
She is currently up to 28km in marathon training and is finding it really tough. “I know my self-belief and mental strength will get me through it. My race will mark almost exactly 7 years from finding the lump to completing a marathon, in my mind the pinnacle of running.”
Running has changed Louise physically and emotionally. She now has body confidence, looks and feels great and believes in herself more. “I have done things I would never have thought possible 2 years ago. I now push myself further and further.”
Parkrunning has also introduced Louise to a whole new set of people who she now calls her family. Louise has loads of runs planned, one of them finishing a half marathon alongside her husband.
“Life now fits in around running, rather than exercise fitting in with my life. I have a new positive outlook on things, and running is a great stress reliever from the busy life I still lead. It is one of the best choices I have made in my life. I am not the same person I was before, and hopefully I have changed for the better. I try to make things count, make a difference. Running makes me feel strong and drives me to be better.”
Our best wishes to Louise. We will make some noise on your behalf.
Other greats yesterday - including one that it appears does not need writing about;
Nivette Chester was spotted pushing hard to get back to her pre-op running standard and seemingly, has been spotted on the shelf of a local book store.
Only a couple of minutes off her pb, Nivette flew home as 5th lady in 23:51. Great to see her out running again. Nivette will not be joining us next week as she is off to do the DT40 trail marathon in Wensleydale. Husband Richard will be dropping her off on his way to the cheese factory. (Thanks Tim Gould for the heads up on that treat.)
Elaine Sherwin returned to parkrun after a five month break due to injury. Ably assisted by Daphne, Elaine romped home as 1st lady in 16:11.
Jennifer Parker took 2nd place for the ladies in 20:15 with Sally Warren3rd in 21:57.
Josh Carter was Leading Man in 18:31. Richard Rollins and Fred Woodcock followed him home in 18:47 and 19:13 respectively.
Mary Halle and Nickola Harris both reached their 50 parkrun milestones yesterday.
Well done all.
Too many other greats to mention individually are our Hi-Vis heros:
Adrian PARKES • Barbara HUNT • Brian ADAMS • Daniel WELCH • George THOULD • Grace DICKENS • Hannah BURGESS • Holly MATTS • Jane HUBBLE • Jason James HUSSELBEE-ORWIN • John HANSON • Katharine GOULD • Madeleine GOULD • Michael WYANT • Natasha O'CALLAGHAN • Paul DANIELS • Richard CHESTER • Richie BUNN • Sarah HOPE • Susan HANN • Susan THOULD • Tim GOULD • Tricia BUNN • Vicky JENNINGS
We love you all.
395 of you finished the course and we believe - only 1 of you took their finish token home. That must be a record.
80 new pb's were recorded yesterday. Congratulations to all those achieving one of these.
In the next few weeks KWp participants will pass the 300,000km total parkrun distance covered. Look out for that. We may have to introduce a prize for the runner that breaks this milestone. (It won't be a T shirt though).
Hoping to see you all next Saturday.