Kind-hearted staff members at Nelson and Colne College are supporting their colleague as she prepares to tackle a demanding running challenge for a charity close to her heart.

NCC’s Vice Principal Paul Britton, Employer Engagement Manager Debbie Howard and Careers Team Leader Francesca Turner, who have completed the London, Manchester and Blackpool marathons respectively in April, are among the staff members drumming up support for Student Services Manager Rachel Cox who is running an incredible 15 10km races in 2017.

Rachel, who is running for the charity Sands, already has medals in the bag for Blackburn, Crosby, Accrington and Keighley 10km races and will take on her next race in Lancaster on Sunday.

Other races on Rachel’s radar for later in the year include races in Manchester, Leeds, York and Blackpool, but she has yet to settle on the 15th.

Rachel said: “I have challenged myself to run 15 races in 2017 to highlight that 15 babies are stillborn or die within the first four weeks of life every day in the UK. My son Ewan was stillborn six years ago and I am running and raising money in his memory. The money I raise will be donated to the Sands Research fund to help reduce this number.

“Over the last six years, my fundraising total for Sands is over £10,000 through various running events, quizzes and generally asking people for money! I would dearly love to be able to raise as much money as possible this year to add to that total.

“We have a really strong running community within College and I’m so grateful to my colleagues for their support.”

Meanwhile the trio of marathon runners (pictured) have spoken about their gruelling experiences of running an arduous 26 miles and never ending 385 yards.

Paul said: “I had a great time on Sunday in London. I ran the marathon with my dad – we finished it with smiles on our faces which I think is really important.

“My dad has been running marathons since he turned 60. He was 70 this year and he planned for London to be his last event. My wife thought it would be a nice idea for me to run as well and we are raising money for Get Kids Going, a wonderful charity that provides children with disabilities the equipment they need to engage in sport.

“It was a remarkably positive experience and a special atmosphere. I would like to thank everyone for all their support and I wish Rachel all the best in the remainder of her events.”

Debbie added: “I ran the Manchester marathon earlier in the month. It was my third marathon and I was pleased with the run. I was running with two friends, all of us for Derian House, to contribute towards the amazing support they give to families.

“I think there’s a chance that Rachel’s 15th race will be the Conwy half marathon later this year which I am planning to run in too, and it would be really nice to support in that way.”

And Francesca said: “Blackpool was warmer than expected at the weekend. Thankfully, there were water stations every three miles and kind people were handing out jelly babies and Kendal Mint Cake!

“The seafront breeze was much appreciated and after a tough period between miles 15 and 22 I could see the light at the end of the tunnel. A surprise visit and cheer from another colleague Alison Wolstenholme at 26 miles was really encouraging and she even ran the last few hundred yards with me towards the finish line!

“I’m supporting Rachel now, as we all are, in her challenge which is for a brilliant cause.”

To donate to Rachel’s cause go to:

You can still donate to Paul’s charity here:

And Debbie’s fundraising link is here:

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