Doniford dad to run London Marathon in daughter's memory

Somerset County Gazette: NEIL Dawson is gearing up for the London Marathon to raise money for a charity close to his heart. PHOTO: Steve Guscott. NEIL Dawson is gearing up for the London Marathon to raise money for a charity close to his heart. PHOTO: Steve Guscott.

A FATHER whose daughter died from cancer is donning his running shoes to raise money for a charity close to his heart.

Neil Dawson from Doniford and his wife Julie lost their daughter Ellie Ann to cancer in 2003.

Ellie Ann was just ten-months-old when she died.

Neil, 41, first ran the London Marathon in 2004 for Children with Leukaemia and Piam Brown children’s cancer ward in Southampton.

“I wanted to help raise money for these very worthy charities, close to our hearts.

“I’ve seen first-hand how much these charities help and the support given freely to children and their families is truly remarkable.

“It was an indescribable time, but we weren’t afraid to shout about it and I think that helps,”Neil said.

His first attempt at the 26 mile run around the city, took a ‘titanic’ five hours and 47 minutes to finish.

But Neil is hoping to complete the course in a quicker time this time round.

He added: “I’ve been practising a lot, which has been quite an experience with all the flooding recently, but you’ve just got to carry on.

“This time round I’m hoping to run the marathon in four hours.

“I don’t care if my time is 4 hours and 59 minutes; I just want to get it down to four.

“I’m looking to raise £1,000 for Children with Cancer.

“It’s been ten years and I want to do another one in memory of Ellie, she will never be forgotten by us.

“I did say straight after the last one that I would never do another marathon however.

“I’m over 6ft tall and completely not built for long distance running.”

To sponsor Neil, visit his donation page at: http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/NeilDawson.

You can also follow him on Twitter for regular updates, his username is @neildawson72.

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