Marathon Men raise thousands in memory of Lynda Smith

Published on: 16/01/2023

Metric Marathon runner, David Smith and his boss, Ironman competitor, Anton Hanley, raised thousands for Wirral Hospice St John’s in memory of David’s mum, Lynda

Lynda Smith had recovered from cancer of the kidney as far back as 2002. She’d then spent nearly twenty more happy years with husband Trevor, sons Michael and David, David’s wife Rachel and, toddler grandson, Zach, alongside all of their wider family and friends.

However, in September 2021, Lynda was diagnosed with a new cancer in her liver and pancreas and this time the disease had progressed beyond a cure.

On Christmas day last year, although she was very ill at the time, David remembers his mum helping with the family dinner and being as cheerful as could be for everyone, but, sadly, from Boxing Day onwards, her illness progressed and she passed away on 4th January, 2022.

In the last few days of her life, Lynda’s wish to be at home when she died was supported by our Hospice at Home team and David describes their care,

“It was an absolute godsend to be honest. Mainly night sits so my Dad, and all of us really, had peace of mind and, as difficult as it was, we could get a little sleep knowing mum was in safe hands.”

Now, the Smith family have been supporters of the hospice for many years (grandmother Betty was also with us in Inpatients some years ago) being members of our lottery and regularly donating and shopping in our charity shops however, a little while after his mum’s passing, David resolved to find another way to say Thank You to the hospice by raising funds through taking on a personal challenge.

Inspired by his boss, Anton Hanley, (an ultra-triathlete*), entered the Chester Metric Marathon, alongside Anton, on October 8th, 2022.

So, with a ‘slightly dodgy’ knee (which sounds like it probably needs some microsurgery actually(!)), David, encouraged (driven?) by Anton began training so that he could complete the 26.6 kilometres (just over 16.5 miles) in a respectable time.

Anton, almost passing the time of day chatting, stayed with David all the way and got him over the line while still running at the finish which David considered a good achievement (we think it’s a great achievement, David).

However, it’s fair to say, for Anton it was a training run.

*Around two weeks later, October 21st,  Anton was completing the Ironman Portugal taking place in Caiscais, west of Lisbon. (Swim 3.6 km, Run 360km and Run 126km with 197m elevation….. wait, what? )

In support of David’s fundraising for his own Metric Marathon challenge, Anton also nominated Wirral Hospice St John’s for his Ironman event, all in memory of Lynda.

And, just, WOW! Between David and Anton they’ve raised a magnificent £6,565, to date, (£3,245 of which will also be match funded by the St James’s Place Foundation).

(In addition, David’s wife Rachel was able to make a successful application to the St James’ Place Foundation for a grant for £4,376 to help the hospice run a specialist advice clinic as part of patient and family services).

A magnificent effort from David, Rachel, Anton and everybody else involved.

Thank you so much and you can all be assured that mum, Lynda, would be so proud!