A Haverhill mum is set to run her first marathon to combat the heart conditions that have struck her father and her friend’s young daughter.
Siobhan Dockerill, 27, is captain of Haverhill running club. She hopes to raise £2,000 for the British Heart Foundation when she runs the London Marathon on April 26.
“My dad (Peter Rootes, 67) had a heart attack while he was out on his bike in 2008,” said Siobhan. “He’s a keen cyclist and he’s back on his bike now, but he’s on medication for the rest of his life.
“Before the heart attack, he was a very fit guy. There are so many people around who could be on the brink of a heart attack, it’s scary.
“He’ll be there in April, cheering me on, which will be nice. He’s an inspiration.”
Siobhan’s also hoping the money she raises will help children like her friend’s 22-month-old daughter, Dotti Allard, who underwent six hours of heart surgery in 2014 to repair a small hole in her heart.
“To look at her, you wouldn’t believe she’d had major heart surgery,” said Siobhan. “She bounced back very quickly and was crawling around everywhere. Hopefully, the money I raise will continue to help people.
“I’ve never run a marathon before. It’s very daunting but, because I’m doing it for charity, I’ve got it at the back of my mind that I can’t let anyone down. That will help me to keep going.”
With only a few weeks left, Siobhan is training hard in the hopes of completing the marathon with a sub-four-hour time.
“Around the four hour mark would be good,” she said. “But I just want to experience it and get around without stopping.
“The running club has been very supportive. It’s nice to have people there who have run in marathons before whose brains I can pick.
“I’ll be doing the Cambridge half marathon in March and a couple of other races. I won’t be going for times, I’ll be treating them as training runs.”
Siobhan’s three-year-old daughter, Poppy, will be cheering her mum on and may even have caught the running bug herself.
“She did the fun run in Abington,” said Siobhan. “She loves running too. It’s amazing. She’s such an energetic young thing.”