Running On Empty blog: 2 days to go

First published in Pennine Lancashire 10K run Lancashire Telegraph: Photograph of the Author by , Sports editor

Jane Emily Tomlinson was first diagnosed with breast cancer aged 26.

She had a lumpectomy, and got on with her life, starting a family with her husband Mike, and studying at postgraduate level to become a paediatric radiographer.

Three years later though, the cancer returned. She battled the illness again with sessions of exhausting chemotherapy and radiotherapy, and a second masectomy.

But in 2000, Jane was told the cancer had spread and she was given six months to live.

Jane had other ideas.

Over the next six years, she ran the London Marathon three times, the London Triathlon twice, and the New York Marathon, raising money and awareness of the illess every painful step of the way.

In the summer of 2006, Jane spent nine weeks cycling 3,800 miles across the United States, raising an incredible £250,000.

She somehow, somewhere found the strength. Courage you couldn't even begin to imagine.

It was to be her final athletic challenge.

On September 3rd 2007, Jane Emily Tomlinson died, aged 43. That's the same age I am now.

But her legacy will last forever.

Jane raised more than £1.85million during her final years. She achieved more in that short space of time than most of us can only dream of in a lifetime.

Her husband Mike now carries on Jane's incredible work, and he will be at Witton Park on Sunday to watch almost 2000 runners take part in the race named after his wife.

The aim is to eventually raise £5 million - the total stands at an amazing £3 million at the moment.

That total for the fund will be boosted even further on Sunday, along with several other local charities, including East Lancashire, Pendleside and Rossendale hospices.

Running 10K is a drop in the ocean compared to what Jane Tomlinson put herself through in the most difficult circumstances you could ever imagine.

But every runner , myslef included,will be playing their part. Taking on their own challenge.

Some will have to dig deeper than they ever had before. Some will run. Some will jog. Some will walk. But every person who takes part in the event - competing, organising, marshalling, supporting, sponsoring - will have done their own little bit.

And I'm sure Jane Emily Tomlinson will be looking down and cheering you on.

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