OXFAM’S running events manager Erika Dallimore is used to helping others raise thousands of pounds for charity.
But now, as she prepares for her first ever marathon tomorrow, she will raise funds herself for a cause close to her heart.
The 30-year-old will take on the 26.2-mile London Marathon for the city cancer hospital that is treating her mother Anne Lynch.
Already the resident from Mulberry Drive, Wheatley, has raised almost £5,000 for the cancer department of Oxford’s Churchill Hospital.
In her first role at Oxfam’s Cowley HQ, Erika has helped raise thousands through the pavement-pounding efforts of others.
But it was the November 2012 return of her mother Anne Lynch’s thyroid cancer for the third time since 2005 that inspired her to pull on her trainers.
Ms Dallimore, who is single, said: “Doing 26.2 miles is nothing compared to what she faced on a daily basis. If she can battle through what she is having to go through the least I can do is run a few miles for her.”
The Wheatley resident, managing 35 to 40 miles a week, said: “It is a great opportunity to understand what my runners are going through.
“I am not a runner by any stretch of the imagination. It is a huge challenge for me.”
Her mother’s cancer has spread to her lungs and she is undergoing chemotherapy at the Headington hospital.
Her daughter said: “The hospital is a cause really close to my heart. The Churchill has been absolutely fantastic. If I am going to run 26.2 miles I am going to do it for my mum.”
She said: “I wanted to take on the ultimate challenge, something that will really test me mentally and physically.”
The former Wheatley Park School pupil has been at the marathon for the last six years in other roles for charities including The Alzheimer’s Society and Breakthrough Breast Cancer.
She said: “It is incredibly inspiring to watch. I want to use it as an opportunity to give something back to the Churchill.”
Her mother, who hopes to join family and friends to cheer on her daughter, said: “I am very, very proud of her. I am just absolutely amazed that she has done what she has done.”
The Wheatley resident said: “I know she will do it. It doesn’t matter how long it takes it is about getting across the finishing line.”
At the time of going to press Erika has raised £4,924.80.
Sponsor her at justgiving.com/erikasmadmarathon2014
We will have full coverage of the big race in Monday’s Oxford Mail. If your are running send in your pictures from the race line to firstname.lastname@example.org