News - 20th May 2021

Raring to go


parkrun helped Shelley Formstone with her recovery after cancer treatment. She now can’t wait to be back on the start line at Preston Park parkrun in Brighton, UK.


When I used to attend bootcamp fitness sessions on Saturday mornings in my local park, I noticed people gathering at the cafe and then walking and running around the park.


I signed up for my first parkrun at Preston Park, Brighton in 2017. I really enjoyed it and got carried away with all the encouragement from everyone and even managed a sprint finish!


The community feel and the whole ethos of the event kept my wife and I returning to parkrun week after week. Whether we volunteered or did the 5k, it set us up for the weekend.


Shelley 1


I found out in 2018 that I had inherited a faulty BRCA gene. This meant I had an increased risk of developing breast and ovarian cancer. Unfortunately, my mum had developed this type of cancer and died when I was 12 years old so I always knew it was a risk.


In 2019 I took the difficult decision to undergo a preventative double mastectomy to reduce my risk of breast cancer.


After the operation, I was back at parkrun almost straight away volunteering as a Marshal. Five weeks later I was back parkrunning the full 5km. It really gave me something to aim for, being outside rather than sitting at home and dwelling on my situation.


Shelley 4
Then, last year, I had key hole surgery to remove my ovaries and fallopian tubes. Following this surgery I was devastated to learn that I had early stages of ovarian cancer. I required further surgery to check that all the cancer had been removed, which I was relieved to be told it had.


It was still advised that I should have six rounds of chemotherapy to reduce the risk of any recurrence. This was delayed due to the risk of COVID but eventually it started last summer and finished at the end of last year.


I needed to be particularly careful and shield during lockdown due to the chemotherapy affecting my immune system. However, I found that in between cycles I would start to feel ok and that I could manage some exercise so tried to do my bootcamp classes online in the garden and even started going out for some gentle jogs. We also managed to get an exercise bike during lockdown which really helped.


It took a little while to get my strength back after the chemotherapy but I’m now doing well and have been enjoying getting back into my running, bootcamp and playing hockey. Since the winter, I’ve also started swimming in the sea, which really gives me a boost and leaves me feeling exhilarated!


Shelley 2


I’m raring to get back to parkrun as soon as possible. I’ve been (not)parkrunning in Preston Park already.


Shelley 5


I’m eight parkruns off my 50th milestone so that will certainly be my first goal and I’ll keep trying to beat my PB time! It will be great to see everyone again and hear the Marshals shout “bollards!” as the Preston Park parkrunners set off from the start line!


Shelley Formstone

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