Run For Your Life
Ealing woman found secret weapon to cope with cancer diagnosis
If you are in need of a bit of inspiration at the start of this year look no further. This month Ealing runner, Jennny Baker, is releasing her book ' Run For Your Life' documenting how her hobby became her life saver.
A pacer and a marshal for Ealing Half Marathon, Jenny received the devastating news that she had breast cancer just after she turned 50 years old and was at the peak of running fitness. Rather than let the disease get the better of her, Jenny’s instinct was to keep running.
She started a blog, about her experiences and recounts a key turning point came when she discovered her oncologist was a marathon runner and with his support, decided to run seven miles along the river to each chemotherapy session.
Turning up at each chemo session on her own terms was a way to take control of a situation and she says: ''I started running weighed down with sorrow, but after a few miles along the river in sunshine and good conversation I arrived feeling lighter and ready for what was ahead.'',
Now clear of cancer, she has released Run For Your Life, to be published this month. The over-riding sentiment is that running has enabled her to hold on to her sense of identity when she felt like she was losing everything.
She says: '' Running really builds resilience, whatever you are doing, whether it is a morning run or something you don’t really want to do like a speed session, you can get through the discomfort and know that there is a goal at the end of it. It gives you confidence in so many aspects of life.''
Kelvin Walker, Race Director of Ealing Half Marathon, commented:
“Jenny had an infectious love of running from the moment I first met her, and it has been truly inspirational to see how she has used running as a coping strategy during her cancer treatment. Her tireless energy as a pacer and marshal at Ealing Half Marathon have helped many people to cross the line and achieve their goals, during which time she has been coping with her very own personal goals. I hope that her story will inspire other people to put on their running shoes and feel the benefits of running both physically and mentally. Ealing Half Marathon is a fantastic race for all abilities of runner and we are looking forward to welcoming Jenny back in 2017.”
Jenny is now able to run up to 25 miles a week and continues to run parkrun most Saturdays, sometimes at her local Gunnersbury parkrun and equally in new locations she visits. She completed her 70th parkrun in December 2016 and has set herself a target of 100 parkruns by Christmas 2017.
She has earned a Good for Age place at the Virgin Money London Marathon in April 2017 and can often be seen running around Ealing and is likely to be marshalling – or maybe even running– the Ealing Half Marathon on 24th September 2017.
“Run in the rain, in the shade, in the sun. Run through parks, along canals, beside roads, on trails. Run for your life, and your life will thank you for it.” (Run for your life, 22nd June 2015).
Entries for the Ealing Half Marathon 2017 are now open. Entry costs £38-£40 for affiliated / non-affiliated runners until 30th April 2017, and the fee rises to £40-£42 between 1st May – 31st July 2017 to. A total of 8,000 places are available and the organisers are expecting the race to sell out by the end of July.
Go to www.ealinghalfmarathon.com to sign up to the 2017 race. You can also like the Facebook page www.facebook.com/ealinghalf and follow @EalingHalf #EalingFeeling on Twitter to keep up to date with all the latest news about the Ealing Half Marathon.
11th January 2017