01/05/24

40 years of support from marvellous marathon runner

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A truly inspirational woman is planning to run the Edinburgh Marathon in May in aid of The Prince & Princess of Wales Hospice, 40 years after completing her first competitive race for the same cause. 

At the tender age of 24, Marie Waterson ran her first ever competitive race, the Women’s 10k in 1984 to raise funds to establish Glasgow’s first hospice The Prince & Princess of Wales Hospice. At the time, people from all over the city came together to raise funds to ensure that people at the end of their lives could be cared for by palliative care specialists.

Now aged 64, Marie is determined to complete the 26.2 miles of the Edinburgh Marathon and raise further funds to help ensure people continue to receive gold standard care at the hospice in Bellahouston Park in Glasgow.

Marie said: “I had never really run before taking part in the Women’s 10k in 1984, but I completed it in about 47 minutes and it’s safe to say I got the running bug. It started as a New Year’s resolution, and it’s grown into a lifetime passion. The Edinburgh race will be my fourth marathon and I’ve also ran many half marathons and 10ks too, during the past four decades.

“I never realised just how much I would enjoy running. It’s improved both my physical and mental health over the years. I find when you go out a run, you can forget about everything and just focus on yourself.

“I’ve gained friends through running too. I ran the London Marathon once and got talking with a fellow runner and it turned out our daughters had been born on the same day. We exchanged numbers after the race and ended up meeting up to do the Newcastle Great North Run together. She’s now moved to Australia, but we still keep in touch.”

Now a Humanist Society Scotland celebrant, Marie also spent 14 years working in the healthcare sector. As mum to two boys and one girl, Marie's children share in the joys of running, and have completed races together. 

In preparation for this race, Marie is taking advice from a personal trainer while focussing on her diet. “It’s madness to run a marathon, she confesses. And I am certainly no athlete, I start and I finish a race and that’s about it, but I love it. My training runs are about 22 miles and I’m hoping for good weather conditions on the day as it can really make a difference.

“I am so determined to complete this marathon for the hospice. It seems only fitting that it’s the 40th anniversary of my very first run and it’s been 40 years of care from the hospice. It’s such a wonderful cause, they really are truly incredible in the care they provide for people and their families, and running a marathon is small thing in comparison to the difference they make every day.”

Rhona Baillie, Chief Executive of The Prince & Princess of Wales Hospice, said: “We are so grateful to Marie for her long-term commitment to supporting the hospice. From her very first run 40 years ago, to running a marathon this year, we are so thankful for this support for Glasgow’s Hospice so we can continue caring for people with terminal conditions and who are at the end of their lives. It is only with the support of people like Marie that we can continue to provide this compassionate vital care and we thank you.”

It costs more than £5million each year to provide specialist palliative and end-of-life care to 1200 new patients and their families, both in the purpose-built hospice at Bellahouston Park and in people’s own homes in the community. With only a small percentage of funding received from the NHS, the hospice must fundraise £3mllion each year to continue providing this care.

People can find out more about the hospice and how they can help support the charity by visiting www.ppwh.org.uk

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