A SOLIHULL woman has used her cancer diagnosis as a springboard to fitness, thanks to her boyfriend who has trained her towards taking part in her first 10k event this year.
Sarah Hart was diagnosed with thyroid cancer in 2015, at the age of 26.
Now 28, Sarah and boyfriend Matt Finch will take on the Simplyhealth Great Birmingham 10k on Sunday, April 30.
She will undergo further surgery this month – but is refusing to let that affect their plans, something which Matt is very proud of her for.
Speaking of the city centre running event, which returns to Birmingham this year, Matt said: “We will start together and do the first couple of kilometres as a couple.
This time last year she struggled to run for even five minutes.
“She was quite unfit and still suffered from knee problems, resulting from a skiing accident in 2015. She has decided to get more active, and ran her first 5k in October.
“That was her first competitive race. Then, she set her sights on the 10k.
“It is enjoyable to run together.
“It’s something for her to strive towards, she is always looking to improve herself and that’s really good to see. She’s doing so well.”
The Olton couple started running together following Sarah’s cancer diagnosis, and they will carry on training for the event right up to and beyond Sarah’s surgery on February 20.
Matt, who will also take on the inaugural Birmingham International Marathon on October 15, added: “Running has been very helpful for Sarah dealing with the recovery from cancer. She is back in hospital from the 20th.
“She may have stopped running at that point but I have told her to keep going and not give up.
“After the surgery she will need a few weeks recovery but she is determined to still do this run, and I’m sure she will.
“She has her reasons for starting running. As a cancer patient, she has questioned a lot of things, she asked herself whether she needed to get fitter and running was a coping mechanism to ‘rid the cancer’.
“Now she does it, she finds it enjoyable and helps mentally as well as physically.”
The Simplyhealth Great Birmingham 10k takes place on Sunday, April 30. For more information, visit greatrun.org/birmingham10k