Haywards Heath mum running marathon to raise money for St Peter & St James Hospice – in her garden

A Haywards Heath mum has set herself the challenge of running a marathon – in her garden.

Thursday, 23rd April 2020, 12:57 pm
Updated Friday, 24th April 2020, 10:37 am

Six months ago, Emily Krombas, 43, signed up to run 13 marathons in 13 months in memory of her friend, Heidi Simpson, who tragically died of cancer in 2016.

Heidi spent her final months at St Peter & St James Hospice in North Chailey – which relies heavily on the generosity of the community to meet its daily running costs of £7,200 – and Emily set herself a target of raising £2,000 for the hospice.

But when the coronavirus hit and the country was put into lockdown – everything changed.

Emily Krombas has set herself the challenge of running a marathon in her garden in memory of her friend, Heidi Simpson, who tragically died of cancer in 2016

“My training was on track, I’d weathered all the storms and I was injury-free,” said Emily, a mum-of-two.

“Fundraising had also been going well with lovely family and friends having donated almost half the £2,000 target.

“Then everything changed because of Covid-19.

“On March 23, we went into lockdown and it was announced that my first marathon, the Brighton Marathon, had been postponed until September.

“Initially I was gutted, but I soon got distracted with the challenges of home-schooling, sharing a workspace with my husband and ensuring toilet roll supplies were adequate for the foreseeable.

“Not knowing when I would be able to start my 13 Marathon challenge I focused on maintaining my strength and fitness and accepted that I would have to put my fundraising challenge on hold for the next few months.”

Emily spotted a friend had shared a post on Facebook about St Peter & St James Hospice appealing for financial help amid the coronavirus crisis.

The hospice said it was facing the ‘biggest challenge in its history’ due to unprecedented losses over the coming months.

Emily said: “I shared this post with my family and friends who continued to donate generously, but felt I had to do more.

“If I waited until lockdown was over to start my challenge, there may not be a hospice to run for!

“St Peter & St James Hospice need money now and lots of it if they are going to survive this pandemic!

“And so the seed of a ‘garden marathon’ was planted and has continued to grow with this lovely weather.”

Emily worked out that 26.2miles – the distance of a marathon – would be 917 laps of her garden.

She said: “I did a trial run of five miles this morning which was a mere 175 and that was tough enough!

“So it’s going to be slow and monotonous, but I can guarantee on setting a new course record and a podium finish!”

Emily hopes to stream her garden marathon challenge on Facebook.

People who would like to support Emily with a donation can visit https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Emily-Krombas2.