Bentham couple stride towards landmark marathon

Valerie, Nick and Diane.
Valerie, Nick and Diane.
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Avid runners Diane and Nick Armstrong will each be completing their 100th marathon next month, which they have organised in memory of Nick’s mum and fellow marathon runner Valerie Harrold.

Valerie was a resident at Leonard Cheshire’s Holehird care home in Windemere and all proceeds from the marathon on May 18 will be donated to the service.

Valerie Harrold.

Valerie Harrold.

Diane and Nick have mapped out a route, which has been measured and approved by UK Athletics, that will take participants winding through the countryside as they run to and from Bentham Golf Club.

Nick, Diane and Valerie all founded the Bentham Beagle’s running club. It was with Valerie that Nick and Diane both ran their first marathons, Nick in 2009 in Snowdonia and Diane in 2012 at Disney World.

Valerie herself had a number of impressive achievements over her lifetime, partaking in some of the major marathons around the world including Berlin, Boston, London and New York. In general, Valerie was a lover of the outdoors, walking from John O’Groats to Lands’ End, climbing Mount Kilimanjaro and hiking up to Everest Base Camp.

It was after a walking accident in Austria in 2013 when Valerie suffered a life changing head injury, becoming paralysed from the neck down causing her to lose part of her sight and the ability to swallow.

Valerie Harrold with family.

Valerie Harrold with family.

After the accident Valerie was cared for at Holehird where she lived for four years before passing away in September last year.

Nick and Diane now hope to raise £1,350 each to go towards the service.

The Bentham Marathon will not only mark a major sporting achievement for Diane and Nick but will also be the date of their 17th wedding anniversary.

Talking about their big achievement, Diane said: “Valerie encouraged both Nick and I to start running marathons, so she would have been extremely proud of us for continuing and reaching 100. We felt that it would be really nice to mark the occasion with a special one-off marathon in Bentham.

“It is really great that we can combine this milestone with raising money to support Leonard Cheshire Holehird, a place that helped Valerie so much during the four years she lived there.”

For more information about the event visit www.benthambeagles.co.uk