Essex: Leading police officer to tackle New York marathon in memory of colleague (From Halstead Gazette)
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Essex: Leading police officer to tackle New York marathon in memory of colleague
4:00pm Tuesday 22nd October 2013 in News
Essex Police's deputy chief constable will run the New York City Marathon next month in aid of two good causes.
DCC Derek Benson will tackle the course on Sunday, November 3, for the Breast Cancer Campaign and Isabella's Fund.
Mr Benson is supporting the Breast Cancer Campaign in memory of Sgt Kirste Snellgrove, who battled the disease for almost seven years before she died at the age of 42 in February 2012.
During that time she raised more than £50,000 for breast cancer charities by running 23 marathons.
Mr Benson said: "I ran the London Marathon back in 1998 and had set myself the vague target of wanting to run another when I turned 50.
"I used to spend quite a lot of time chatting with Kirste and we used to talk about running and football. I had mentioned this thought of doing another marathon to her and she set me the challenge.
"She was an inspiration. When you heard that she was still running marathons even though you knew she must have been suffering - I thought there is no excuse for me not to do it.
"I have had other friends who have died due to cancer so I know how important it is to fund research.”
The second good cause Mr Benson is raising money for, Isabella’s Fund, also has a close connection to the force.
Isabella’s parents are both Essex police officers and need to raise money to pay for her on-going treatment for a rare chromosome disorder that is so unusual it doesn't yet have a name.
Her disorder means she was born with two holes in her heart and she also suffers severe epilepsy and is registered blind.
Mr Benson said: "One of aims of the fundraising for Isabella is to raise £20,000 to convert her home to make it easier for her family to move her around and get her in and out of her bed and the bath.
"If I can raise some extra money for both of these very worthy causes then it will make all the training and pounding around the streets I am doing worthwhile.”
He added he was currently running up to 18 miles on long runs at weekends and is hoping that the adrenaline surge on the day will see him through.
In running the 26.2 miles he will take around 42,000 steps, burn more than 2,500 calories, and is likely to lose more than three litres in sweat.
Anyone wishing to donate to either of the two charities can visit Mr Benson’s Just Giving page at justgiving.com/Derek-Benson1 to give money to the Breast Cancer Campaign and visit the Isabella’s Fund website to make a donation for her at isabellasfund.com
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