Last year, Marina's Grandma received incredible hospice care in the United States. This year, she's running the Royal Parks Half Marathon and decided to do it for her local hospice, Trinity, so that families where she lives can experience the same care her and her family did.

"I always used to think I wasn’t a runner at all, and when two of my best friends entered the ballot for the Royal Parks Half Marathon and said I should enter with them, I told them I’d be on the side lines handing out bottles of water instead! But then another one of my friends decided to run it and she isn’t a runner either so I thought, you know what, I’m going to prove myself wrong and go for it and give it a try.

I’ve been living in Clapham for just over a year now, and I really wanted to run for a hospice. I’m half-American and my Grandma in California needed hospice care for two weeks last year, and my aunt the year before that. Nurses would come every day to help her and it was just an incredible, incredible service and our whole family were incredibly grateful. I remember my mum saying the nurses’ job was the most important job in the world and I don’t know what we would have done without them.

So I wanted to run for my grandmother and my aunt. I knew I wanted to do something for a hospice at some point and living in Clapham I found Trinity’s page and that seemed perfect because of the care they provide but it’s also my local hospice where I live, and I love living here.  

I saw that most of Trinity’s funds come from donations so it just felt like the right choice. I wanted to help other families in the way mine was helped.

The last few weeks of training haven’t been going amazingly because it’s been so hot! I started two, three months ago and it was going pretty well for someone who couldn’t run 5k beforehand without dying. Now I can run 10k and I’ve even done 17k once – after that I thought “oh, I can do this!”

Living in Clapham is great because I can train on the common and in Battersea Park as well. Hopefully it’s prepping me for the Royal Parks which should be a pretty similar environment. I think I’m going to start putting my body through what the actual half will be like and start taking some water and snacks along the way.

I set up my fundraising page a few months ago and shared it on my Facebook and with people at work.

I didn’t expect to be able to hit my target so soon but I had very, very generous people and close friends who donated. I think a lot of the people who donated, they know what my family and I went through last year and how it had affected us and they really cared a lot. 

It was so nice to see my close friends and even my colleagues who I didn’t expect anything from donate – I thought I was definitely going to have to do a bake sale or two!

I think it’ll be a great atmosphere on the day, and it’s great to be taking part in the biggest Team Trinity challenge of the year.

I’ve hit my fundraising target now but I’d still like to raise more, big or small, any donation is really appreciated!"

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