A marathon effort for little Edie

editorial image

Two runners took on a marathon challenge in memory of a little girl who tragically died after a short and sudden illness.

Gavin Dodd and Rachel Cullen, of Ripponden, completed the Dubai Marathon last month to raise funds after their friend’s two-year-old daughter, Edie Murphy, died in October last year after suffering a seizure

Following Edie’s death, her parents, Tom and Cheryl Murphy, formerly of Southowram, won a nationwide competition with Thompson Airways to name a plane after Edie.

Gavin, 41, and Rachel, 37, knew they wanted to do something to help. The pair said: “The Dubai Marathon seemed like the perfect opportunity for us to raise some funds for Edinburgh Sick Kids, who looked after Edie and her family throughout the most horrendous time.”

The pair set themselves the challenge knowing they would be training in conditions very different to those in Dubai. But they hadn’t banked on the monsoon-like conditions for the last part of their marathon training, including flooding across the Christmas period.

“It was pretty tough,” said Gavin. “We had a 4am wake up for the marathon start time of 6.30am, and we were still jet lagged from our arrival the day before.

“When the sun rose at around 7.15am it just became hotter and hotter, and I particularly suffered in the heat. Any pain we felt was nothing compared to Tom and Cheryl’s and thinking of Edie kept us going.”

Rachel completed the marathon in three hours and 34 minutes and Gavin finished in four hours and 24 minutes. The pair are now supporting Edie’s parents with their own marathon training - Cheryl will take part in the Yorkshire Marathon in October to raise further funds in memory of her daughter.

Donate at www.justgiving.com/Gavin-Dodd4.