A year-long fundraising quest has seen two hoteliers cross the Atlantic to take part in one of the world’s biggest marathons.
Justin and Judy Baird-Murray, from the family-owned Metropole Hotel and Spa in Llandrindod Wells, have run the Chicago Marathon as part of their money-raising drive for Pancreatic Cancer Research Fund.
Earlier this year Judy ran the London Marathon in memory of her father-in-law, David Baird-Murray, who died of the disease.
Pancreatic Cancer is the fifth most common cause of cancer death in the UK. It has over the years claimed many high profile lives including recently the actor John Hurt.
Sadly in December of last year a previous general manager of The Metropole, Nick Ireland, also died after a brave fight against the disease. He was only 53 years of age.
“It is important to raise awareness about the disease, and to aid research into finding better treatment – survival rates for pancreatic cancer have not improved at the rates of those for most other cancers,” said Judy, who runs the Rock Spa at the four-star hotel.
“Forty years ago three per cent of people diagnosed with pancreatic cancer survived five years or more. That figure is still the same now.”
“Running the Chicago Marathon was a great experience, as everyone was so supportive, and the event brought us closer to our target of raising £10k for our cause. We have raised £8,359 so far.”
Judy was also delighted to meet two of her running heroes prior to the race, Steve Jones and Paula Radcliffe, both previous winners of the Chicago Marathon.
Fellow Welshman Steve, who won in both 1984 and 1985, has kept in touch with Judy on social media and the two look forward to meeting up again at the Newport Wales Marathon in April 2018.
From his training centre in Boulder, Colorado, where Steve trains many top athletes, he said: “It was easy to spot Judy, dressed as she was in her Welsh dragon running top, and Paula and I were pleased to offer her encouragement prior to the race.
“The next big event I’m involved in, in Wales is the Newport Marathon on April 29 and I look forward to welcoming a big field, including Judy, to that.”
Judy and Justin will next take on the Tokyo Marathon in February 2018, which they hope will take them to their fundraising target of £10,000.
Anyone who would like to support Judy and Justin’s fundraising for research into pancreatic cancer, can do so at www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Judy-Baird-Murray
See full story in the County Times