Natalie Ramsay lost her brother Spencer George to cancer last year and now is running to raise money to help build a new chemotherapy centre at Cayman Islands Hospital in his memory.
She ran the Cayman Islands Half Marathon last month and, this weekend, plans to take on the ING Miami Full Marathon.
A day after her beloved 28-year-old brother died on 14 June last year, she decided she was going to run a marathon in his honour.
“Since August [I] have been dragging my sorry self around Cayman’s roads in preparation for 26.2 miles of running. There have been tears, sweat, blood, lost toenails, blisters and 3am wake up calls for 3.30am running starts,” she said.
Now, after 27 weeks of training, she’s ready to face her first marathon.
Her brother was treated at the Royal Marsden Cancer Hospital in the United Kingdom after he was diagnosed with an unknown testicular germ cell cancer. Half the money Ms Ramsay raises will go toward the Royal Marsden and the other half toward building a new chemotherapy wing in Grand Cayman.
She ran the half marathon last month in two hours and two minutes. “That was 10 minutes off the time I wanted,” she said. She ran a half marathon once before, five or six years ago, without doing any preparation or training, she said, and finished in two hours and 45 minutes. “It was painful the whole time,” she said. “I decided if I was ever going to do anything so energetic again, I was going to train properly.”
And that’s what she has been doing – getting up in the wee hours of the morning and clocking up more miles each week.
So far, she has raised more than $7,000 and set up bank accounts in Cayman and the UK to receive money for the run. “I was hoping to raise $10,000, so all donations are gratefully received,” she said.
Preparing for the marathon has been quite a balancing act for Ms Ramsay, who works at Walkers Global and has a 16-month-old baby. She admits finding time to fit in her runs has been a struggle and she’s not sure she’ll keep on running after the marathon is over.
“My new year’s resolution is to quit running and get fat – and sleep more,” she said.”
Anyone who wants to donate money to support Ms Ramsay’s run can e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org