Jane Clayton completes virtual London Marathon in memory of cousins and raises £7,000 for Muscular Dystrophy UK
A sleepy corner of Nottinghamshire became Pall Mall on Sunday as 51-year-old Jane Clayton completed four 6½-mile laps around local villages for the virtual London Marathon.
She was running in memory of her two cousins, Ben and Samantha, who have died of Myotonic Dystrophy in the last 18 months, aged 50 and 53.
Residents of Hawksworth cheered her home in three hours 58 minutes and 2 seconds.
Jane, who trained for 18 months to complete the marathon, raised just over £7,000 for Muscular Dystrophy UK with her efforts .
She ran her first London Marathon in 2006, also in support of her cousins, who suffered from the rare muscle-wasting condition.
She said: “When I ran my first marathon, Ben and Samantha were both still in reasonable health. They were able to drive, and lead relatively normal lives.
“This time, I was sadly running in their memory. Ben died just after his 50th birthday in 2019 and Samantha died in January this year.
“As you can imagine, it has devastated our family, not least my aunt, who somehow manages to remain cheerful. She gives me the strength and inspiration to try and do something to help others.
“I started training for this race 18 months ago and it has been quite hard to stay motivated. But I always say to myself, I am running this because, quite simply, I can.
“My side of the family were fortunate in not inheriting the myotonic dystrophy gene.
“It could so easily have been me. I consider myself so lucky that I can run at all, therefore I need to use that gift to help others not so fortunate.”
Jane’s route took her through Thoroton, Alsockton and Scarring-ton, supported by a team of friends to help her complete each lap and the all-important pace making.
Kiera Santry, of Muscular Dystrophy UK, said: “Running the London Marathon is a truly courageous thing to do, and we are so grateful to Jane Clayton for taking on this incredible challenge.”