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Student runs half marathon – Bath Spa University

Bath Spa student takes on a half marathon to raise money for charity

Wednesday, 24 May, 2023

After recovering from surgery on her leg, third year BA (Hons) Music student Becky Farrell didn’t just get back on her feet - she started running marathons.

In 2018, Becky was diagnosed with a non-cancerous, but rare, tumour inside her tibia. She was treated at the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital (RNOH) in London, where they removed the tumour and reconstructed the bones in her leg.

Now Becky is returning the favour, and will run the Two Tunnels half marathon in Bath on 4 June to raise money for the RNOH Charity. Becky was recently diagnosed with another tumour in her leg and is set to have surgery at the RNOH this summer after she graduates, adding an additional challenge - and further motivation - for her fundraising.

Talking about the care she received at the hospital, Becky said:

“When I discovered I had a bone tumour in 2018, aged 16, the RNOH were absolutely superb with my treatment from beginning to end. Being still quite young at the time, the RNOH were just incredible whilst looking after me as an inpatient recovering after surgery. I had a hospital 'teacher' and entertainment staff who came round every day to help me with any school work and to keep me smiling.”

When they found out that Becky was a musician, the hospital staff even managed to source an electric piano for her to play while she recovered.

“They truly cared about every single patient on my ward,” Becky said.

After she recovered, Becky started running during lockdown by attempting the ‘Couch to 5K’ challenge. At the beginning, she could barely run for five minutes, but now she enjoys doing regular 5K runs, as well as local park runs along the seafront when she’s at home.

“I took up running in 2020 to improve my mobility after being out of action for a while. The fact that here I am currently training for a half marathon is a bit of a 'pinch me' moment!” Becky said.

To train for the event, Becky has been following a 12-week regimen consisting of four runs per week of varying distance and pace, along with cross-training sessions at the gym. She fits this in between staying on top of her coursework and writing her dissertation.

"The fact that here I am currently training for a half marathon is a bit of a 'pinch me' moment!” 

“To my flatmates' annoyance, I’m a morning person, so I always prefer to run as soon as I wake up,” Becky said. “I get such a dopamine rush after running. I often find that if I've gone for a run in the morning, I feel really motivated and energised for my entire day. It’s a great help during exam season!”

In addition to raising money for the hospital, Becky hopes that her story inspires others and helps them to realise that anyone can achieve amazing things if they put their mind to it.

Becky said:

“Doing the run for such an incredible charity, and seeing all the lovely messages of support on my donation page has been a huge help. If you told me a year ago that I’d be training for a half marathon, I would have said you were mad. The training hasn’t been easy, but it’s a prime example of what you can achieve if you really put your all into something. I was a walking stick user just five years ago!”

You can donate to Becky’s fundraiser on JustGiving.

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