Swimming star Marren sets London Marathon challenge to support Nan and St Barts

PUBLISHED: 17:30 29 December 2017

Great Britain's Amy Marren during the women's 200m IM final (pic: PA)

Great Britain's Amy Marren during the women's 200m IM final (pic: PA)

PA/Press Association Images

Swimming star Amy Marren has grown used to getting up early and training hard in pursuit of her sporting dreams over the past decade.

Amy Marren poses with her Paralympic bronze medal with dad Andrew (left) and coach Gary Rogers (right) in RioAmy Marren poses with her Paralympic bronze medal with dad Andrew (left) and coach Gary Rogers (right) in Rio

And those ‘middle of the night’ alarm calls certainly paid off as the Hornchurch teenager won a combined total of six gold and seven silver medals at IPC World and European Championships, before adding bronze at the Rio Paralympics last year.

But now the 19-year-old Marren has set herself another challenge, swapping swimsuit and the indoor pool for trainers and the pavement as she trains for the 2018 London Marathon.

With most of her swimming career spent racing over 50, 100, 200 and 400 metres, Marren will bid to complete the 26.2-mile course through the capital in April in support of a very good cause.

“This year our family has been through some pretty scary times with my nan Irene, who has cancer,” said Marren.

“When my mum found out she was pregnant with me, she was actually visiting my nan who was a patient at St Barts in London. Finding out my mum was pregnant really perked my nan up and gave her reason to get better and get home.

“She was diagnosed with her first cancer 30 years ago, went through copious amounts of surgery and still come through. However, two and a half years ago the cancer was back and had spread to the lymph nodes and liver.

“It wasn’t curable or operable, but it was controllable. In May, my nan was in so much pain she was admitted to St Barts. It was here that I found out about the Barts Charity and work they do not only for patients but also the families.

“I made a decision that given the chance I would run the marathon to help raise funds for St Barts. Luckily I was offered a place and to say I was humbled is an understatement.

“My nan is battling on, as I get older I can only hope I am as strong as person. I may be running 26 miles, but this is nothing compared to what patients with cancer go through.

“As a swimmer it’s totally different for me to take this challenge. Having swam in the 2012 and 2016 Paralympic Games, I thought these were my greatest achievements, but this is my greatest achievement.”

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