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Fast friends run half marathon around London’s greatest landmarks

Janet Jennings and Sarah Sexton are running the London Landmarks Half Marathon to raise money for The Institute of Cancer Research, London, in memory of their mums who died from cancer.

Sarah Sexton and Janet Jennings running together

Image: Sarah Sexton (left) and Janet Jennings (right) running together.

Janet and Sarah became friends after regularly bumping into each other on their morning runs. After exchanging numbers to train together, they found out they had a lot more in common than their choice of exercise.

Both Sarah and Janet’s mothers had died of cancer. Sarah’s mum was initially diagnosed in 1997 with breast cancer, and died from the disease in 2011 at the age of 80. Janet’s mum died at the age of 60 from a cancer of unknown origin.

Janet and Sarah were both turning 50 this year, and had begun exercising for the first time ahead of the milestone birthday.

A privilege to raise money for the ICR

Janet said: “With it being my 50th birthday this year and the ten-year anniversary of my mum’s death it was the perfect time for me to take on a challenge.

“My son is doing a PhD in cancer research which is fully funded, and I realise that without funding, lots of clever people wouldn’t be able to do their bit and make a difference to people with cancer.”

Sarah said: “When Jan mentioned doing a half marathon, I thought absolutely not! I feel incredibly lucky to have Jan to encourage me to do this, I never would have otherwise. It has been so helpful to have someone to train with, and both have something that connects you and motivates you to get your trainers on.

“When Jan and I started running, we never imagined we could ever finish a 10km, never mind a half marathon. It is a real privilege to be able to raise money for the ICR, it will be a huge achievement for me and something I will be proud of forever.”

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