Linda Stark, 61, from successfully completed her own personal challenge of running the Edinburgh Marathon. Due to restrictions in place for the Pandemic, this had to be done virtually – but that didn’t stop Linda!
“I’m 61, on my own and no children. I was widowed at 31 (Drew had a sudden and fatal heart attack), I stayed single until I met Peter when I was 44, we lived together. Just over 5 years ago he was diagnosed with terminal cancer, no treatment was offered only palliative care, which is where ACCORD helped. He was not admitted to the hospice but was visited us at home weekly by Dr Gray from the hospice and explained so much more than Peter’s consultant had. He lasted 5 weeks.
The support that the hospice gives to the community is not well known, too many don’t realise that you can get support at home and after too.
I took up scuba diving a year later but after two years I had to give up for health reasons, I had always been able to swim breast stroke but not anymore with my breathing.
As a member of David Lloyd for years I was introduced to Regan Hughes, a personal trainer at the club who was also a triathlon coach, this is where my life changed! Regan said he would teach me front crawl and breathing properly when swimming, after a few weeks I could swim a length and built up from there, 5 months later he had me swimming a mile, convinced me to introduce running and then took me out open water swimming in Loch Lomond. I still swim every week and during lockdown I swam in a lot of open water.
Now to running, two years ago had my first outdoor run with Regan – it was a 5k and boy was it hard! We continued training two or three times a week both swimming, running and gym work. He convinced me to do Paisley 10k a year past August and in his words “I smashed it” last year was hard with lockdown, gym opened then closed during the pandemic … but I ran when I could.
Fast forward to January 2021 when Regan challenged me to do a marathon and he would train me, bearing in mind my longest run ever was 10k, now I was going to attempt 42k.
I have trained faithfully every week during snow, ice, wind, rain and -10 degrees. With Regan 3 times and also on my own, following the schedule he had set me. He says we are totally on track for the big day, I’ve done everything I can to achieve this. He has always believed in me when I haven’t believed in myself and would never have done this without him.”
David McFadden, Fundraising and Communications Manager at ACCORD Hospice comments: “Linda has raised an amazing £2000.00 for ACCORD Hospice and St Vincents Hospice through Virgin Giving, which will be split equally. Her story is incredible and so is the challenge she set herself. She has worked so hard to achieve her personal goal whilst raising money to support both Hospices in her local area. The past year has been extremely hard for everyone, and to have people like Linda think of the Hospice in this way at such a challenging time is truly amazing. Our sincere thanks go to Linda for everything she has done. Her thoughts about caring for people at home at the end of their lives is so true, we are very much looking forward to launching our brand new ACCORD at Home service in the next few months which will support people at home”
Link to Linda’s Page https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/LindaStark1/1