Pulborough girl and friends to run Vitality Big Half Marathon to help prevent cancer

1 March 2018

Sophie Ellis, Molly Macconnol and Laura Thrower from Pulborough, Guildford and Woking respectively, are all 23 and will be running the inaugural Vitality Big Half on Sunday 4 March in central London to raise money for World Cancer Research Fund’s cancer prevention and survival work.

The three women, who have been friends since they met at Exeter University, are doing this because they all have family members who have had a cancer diagnosis. Sophie said:

“For the last seven years, both of my parents have been battling cancer and I have always wanted to be able to do something that could make them better.

Although this is impossible, one thing I can do is to try to raise money and awareness for charities such as World Cancer Fund to hopefully start to prevent this horrific disease from affecting more families like my own.

Whilst I know my best friends Laura and Molly are running to support me and my family, they are also very much running for their own personal reasons and have also both had very close family and friends suffer from this horrible disease, some of which have lost their battles. Therefore we have all decided to take on this big challenge and we are looking forward to accomplishing it for everyone together!”

So far Sophie has raised an amazing £2,800 and is hoping to reach her target of £3,000. And both Molly and Laura have raised £500 each.

The Vitality Big Half Marathon has been created by the organisers of the London Marathon. It will start at Tower Bridge and finish in Greenwich, passing through the boroughs of Southwark, Tower Hamlets, Lewisham and Greenwich. Sophie, Molly and Laura will participate alongside elite runners and wheelchair racers, together with families and community groups taking part in The Little Half and The Big Relay events. Up to 20,000 people are expected to take part.

None of the women have run a half-marathon before, and commenting on their decision to run the Vitality Big Half Marathon for World Cancer Research Fund, Laura said:

Many of my family members have survived cancer, whilst sadly other family and close family friends have passed away from cancer. As cancer has been so prevalent throughout my life I want to raise money to help try and beat cancer and help more people to survive from it”.

Molly added:

"Lots of people close to me have survived cancer and are currently battling. Sadly others have lost their battle. As cancer has been so prevalent throughout my life I want to raise money to help with the prevention."

Gerard Cousins, Director of Fundraising at World Cancer Research Fund, said:

“We’re incredibly grateful to Sophie, Molly and Laura for their fantastic support. It’s thanks to the amazing efforts of people like Sophie, Molly and Laura that we can continue to help the public make more informed lifestyle choices to reduce their risk of cancer.”

To support Sophie, Molly and Laura’s fundraising efforts, visit their pages:

For more information, please contact the World Cancer Research Fund Press Office by emailing pr@wcrf.org or calling 020 7343 4200 (out of hours: 07879 483022).

Notes to editors

About World Cancer Research Fund:

World Cancer Research Fund is the world’s leading authority on the links between cancer prevention and survival and diet, weight and physical activity. By funding and supporting research, developing policy recommendations and providing health information, we ensure that people can make informed lifestyle choices to reduce their risk of developing a preventable cancer. Our scientific research ensures that we will continue to have the latest and most authoritative information at our fingertips, all underpinned by independent expert advice.

For more information visit www.wcrf-uk.org, follow us on Twitter at http://twitter.com/wcrf_uk or visit our Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/wcrfuk.

About The Vitality Big Half Marathon:

For more information, please visit: thebighalf.co.uk/about/overview/