"I'm conquering the London Marathon in memory of my biggest fan and partner in crime – my dad."

Meet part-time fitness instructor and personal trainer Connie Craddock, who is preparing to take on the London Marathon in support of Sue Ryder Leckhampton Court Hospice. In this blog post, Connie explains how she was inspired to run the 26.2 mile marathon for the fourth time after her dad was cared for at the hospice.

Sue Ryder Leckhampton Court Hospice is an extremely important place to me. My dad was only there for a short time, but the nurses and staff could not have been more accommodating and helpful. They did everything they could to make him comfortable.

When the time came, we were supported with immeasurable kindness and patience. I will forever be grateful for every single person involved with Sue Ryder.

When I found out I had a London Marathon place running with Team Incredible, I felt overwhelmed and emotional. I feel incredibly privileged to be given the opportunity.

I am running in memory of my biggest fan and partner in crime – my dad. I love the idea of supporting the hospice that looked after my dad at the end of his life. I am hoping to raise over £2,000 to help pay for the care and support for patients and their families.

My goal: 10 marathons before I'm 30

This will be my fourth marathon – my goal is to do ten by the time I’m 30! I really love running but suffered some serious injuries last year; I fractured my pelvis and two spinal procedures. This has been great way to get me back to fitness and I plan to just do my very best.

To train, I have been running four times a week with a mixture of distances and hill/sprints. I have also been going to the gym and doing plenty of stretching! My top tips are to not underestimate the importance of training and to not try anything new the night before or day of the run.

When the going gets tough, I think about crossing that finish line in London. I’m also lucky enough to train with one of my closest friends, and we pick each other up when we struggle – team sport!

"People think I'm crazy"

The support from the Sue Ryder team has been great and I’ve had direct contact with so many people.

My family and friends have been very supportive too – but they half think I’m crazy for loving running!

On the day I will have lots of loved ones cheering me on, including my mum, brother, sister, brother-in-law, both uncles, one auntie and about ten friends!

You can donate to my London Marathon cause via my JustGiving page.

Has Connie’s story inspired you to lace your trainers and get running?

Connie is part of the coaching team for Leckhampton Court Hospice’s Run Club.

If you join the Sue Ryder team for the Cheltenham Half Marathon in September 2019, you can benefit from an 18-week training plan supported by Connie and our other coaches – and soak up Connie’s London Marathon running expertise.

To sign up for the Cheltenham Half, please visit the link below, call 01242 246 162 or email leckhampton.events@sueryder.org