King’s Lynn gym regular overcomes health scare to complete £20k marathon challenge

Sallyanne Ellington and Stacey Rudd start their charity trilogy in memory of their dad with the  London Marathon in 2014.
Sallyanne Ellington and Stacey Rudd start their charity trilogy in memory of their dad with the London Marathon in 2014.

Two sisters have raised more than £20,000 in their dad’s memory after completing a marathon charity trilogy against all the odds.

Sallyanne Ellington and Stacey Rudd triumphed at the Paris Marathon on Sunday – their third marathon in 365 days – after overcoming a series of setbacks.

Stacey Rudd and Sallyanne Ellington cross the finish line of the Paris Marathon - their third marathon in 365 days to raise money for Cancer Research UK in memory of their dad.

Stacey Rudd and Sallyanne Ellington cross the finish line of the Paris Marathon - their third marathon in 365 days to raise money for Cancer Research UK in memory of their dad.

Six days before the event, doctors told Stacey not to run after she was rushed to Accident and Emergency for the second time in a week with agonising chest pains.

Then, two days later, the sisters’ flight to Paris was cancelled.

But with their London and New York marathons in aid of Cancer Research UK complete, the determined duo refused to give up.

They jumped in a car for a road trip to the French capital, and Stacey still lined up at the start of the race unsure how much of the 26.2 miles she would be able to complete.

Before the event, Sallyanne had even offered to push her sister around the marathon course in a wheelchair.

But on the big day, the pair managed to complete the final part of their journey together.

Sallyanne, who is well-known in the Lynn area for her involvement with Motiv8 Exercise and Fitness, said: “Our trilogy is complete! I’m so proud of Stacey for completing it when she shouldn’t have run, but in our final marathon we got to cross the finish line together.

“I can’t thank everyone enough for their support, encouragement and donations in what has been an amazing and emotional year.”

Sallyanne, of Emneth, and Stacey, of Wisbech St Mary, started their year-long challenge when they ran the London Marathon on April 13, 2014.

The day marked the seventh anniversary of their dad Michael Jeffrey losing his brave battle against cancer, at the age of just 51, and it was also Sallyanne’s eldest daughter Sophie’s eighth birthday.

They then entered this year’s Paris Marathon, but decided to run the New York Marathon in between on November 2, 2014, to make it three in a year.

Sallyanne said: “We started our adventure to try and make a positive out of what was a very sad day losing our dad and raise as much money as possible in his memory.

“He was our hero and a true one in a million.”

Anyone wanting to boost the sisters’ fundraising total can visit: www.justgiving.co.uk/sallandstac