08 February 2021

Man who ran London Marathon in wife’s memory says next one is ‘for me’

08 February 2021

A man who ran the London Marathon carrying some of his late wife’s ashes said this year he is running to thank Macmillan for the charity’s help to make life move forward.

Chris Rose’s wife Angela died aged 40 in February 2019, 18 months after being diagnosed with breast cancer and weeks before he ran the Virgin Money London Marathon.

Mrs Rose, who enjoyed keeping fit, had hoped to run the London Marathon and her widower carried some of her ashes in a wristband so they could cross the finish line together, raising £10,000 for Macmillan Cancer Support.

“I thought it was important to do it,” Mr Rose told the PA news agency.

“She always wanted to run a marathon and to tell her grandchildren she had done it.”

Mr Rose, 40, from Rendlesham, Suffolk, said he ran for his late wife in 2019 but in 2021 he “is going to run it for me”.

“This time is about what help I have had going forward.”

The family has been supported by Macmillan and Mr Rose, who was due to run the London Marathon in 2022, brought his place forward to October 3 when he discovered it was the event’s charity of the year for 2021.

The couple’s son, Jack, has benefited from support, including art therapy, and Mr Rose said the 10-year-old has a “bright outlook” and that people are sometimes surprised to discover he has been through the trauma of losing his mother.

Macmillan charity marathon runner (PA Media)

“I’m very proud of him and everything he’s done,” Mr Rose told PA.

“That’s the reason I want to run again and raise more money for Macmillan – for all they have done for him.

“Macmillan are there for people with cancer but they are there for families as well.

“It’s comforting to know that that’s there.”

Mr Rose has worked as a clinical research assistant in the cancer research team at Ipswich Hospital since January 2020 and Mrs Rose worked as a directorate administrator in the oncology department before becoming an IT trainer.

Working at the hospital during the coronavirus pandemic has meant Mr Rose has had to limit his contact with Jack, who has been staying with his grandparents nearby.

Mr Rose has weekly Covid-19 tests before visiting but said: “For five months in the first lockdown I didn’t touch him or hug him.”

Jack, who was eight when his mother died, watched his father run in 2019 and is looking forward to seeing him again on October 3. He also enjoys running.

Mr Rose told PA: “I have run since about 2015. I did the normal thing, joined a gym, didn’t go and thought I needed to do something.

“I did Couch to 5k, did about three weeks then did a 5k.”

Mrs Rose was part of a local online running community called Run For Your Life and her widower said fellow runners have supported him in recent years.

“It helped me. I don’t necessarily talk a lot even if I’m with someone else but I do probably think quite a lot.”

– To sponsor Chris Rose visit: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/christopher-rosevmlm2020

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