Article by

January 25, 2016 at 3:46 pm

Charity news  |  Race news

‘Hat challenge’ runner Sara to run the Brighton Half 2016

Each and every year we hear many inspirational stories of runners who sign up to run the Brighton Half to raise money for a charity close to their hearts. This year Sara Snood, a local runner who was diagnosed with breast cancer in July 2014 and set upon a hat challenge which raised thousands for charity, will be in our running field of 13,000 runners. Sara received a Point of Light award from Prime Minister David Cameron earlier this year in celebration of her fundraising achievements. Now her ambitions lie in 13.1 miles on 28 February – if you see her running on race day (in another hat of course!), give her a cheer!

Day 356

People in Brighton may recognise you from your ‘hat challenge’ – how did that go and is your challenge now finished?

Occasionally I get recognised; people are very kind and supportive. I feel overwhelmed with the support I get from doing my challenge. My official challenge was supposed to end on 12 October 2014, which was a year to the day of my first day of chemotherapy. However, I have been asked to keep going by so many people, that I feel it must go on. I also enjoy it so much.

Is Brighton Half your next fundraising goal?

Yes it is – I’ve currently raised over £16,300 for Macmillan, who have been there for me from the day of my diagnosis and continue to be there for me now – it would be amazing to get that to £17,000 for the Half Marathon challenge. I don’t think I’m going to break any records, but I’m utterly determined to run the whole way around the course.

Can you tell us about the #GoCheckYourBits campaign?

Initially I set up the campaign to get me through chemo one day at a time. I knew I was going to lose my hair, so a different piece of headgear seemed a good idea and it raised some money for Macmillan. My initial target was £200!

As the campaign picked up momentum my hope is that it will encourage people to be body aware, to know their norm, so if in the event of a lump or a bump or a new persistent cough for example, to go and get it checked out. Early diagnosis really does give the best prognosis. I think it’s a humorous way to keep the message going.

How is your health since having treatment for breast cancer?

I’m OK – the treatment takes its toll, and it’s taken a while to get back to running. I have ongoing nerve pain and lymphodema in my arm, which means I can’t go back to work. My partner and I have a building and renovation company which I am no longer able to work with due to the problems with my arm.

Day 195How is your training going for the half?

Amazingly well. I can’t quite believe it. A few months ago I could barely walk upstairs without being so short of breath. I set up a training plan, and I am now up to 9 miles. This weekend, I’m aiming for 10 miles. My pace is nowhere near where it was before my diagnosis, and my arm is very painful, but what I gain from running, and having the target of the half marathon, far outweighs the pain.

Can we expect to see you running in a hat on race day?

Yes! I’m in the middle of making it – all I can say at the moment is that it’ll be green in line with Macmillan’s colours – so I should hopefully be easy to spot on the day for my family and friends who will be there egging me on.

Follow Sara on Twitter @fizzysnood