Sue Smith has been a member of King’s Lynn parkrun since its inception in 2011, which also inspired her to join the Ryston Runners, a local running Club. Not the fastest runner in town, which she will readily admit, Sue’s dogged determination to improve her performance regardless of competition and conditions was an inspiration to many.
This became even more apparent when in June 2016, she was diagnosed with Grade 3 breast cancer. The aggressive nature of the cancer resulted in her having a left breast mastectomy in July 2016, followed by a node removal operation in August 2016. Chemotherapy followed between September and December 2016 with three weeks of radiotherapy in February 2017.
Throughout this period, she kept in touch with all her parkrun friends and turned up to Volunteer whenever she felt well enough to, even when she was undergoing treatment. Her determination to take part was also apparent when, while still undergoing chemotherapy, she decided to walk the course, her head scarf hiding her hair loss. Her positive nature was a source of inspiration to all who knew her and equally she found the encouragement she received from her fellow parkrunners a source of strength she could feed off during those dark days of treatment.
She will readily admit the sense of support and well-being she received from parkrun helped her deal with her illness and gave her the strength to fight the cancer such was her determination to once again take part and run with her friends and colleagues.
The phrase “well-done Sue” became a watch word for all who passed her on the three-lap course and wondered whether they would have been able to cope so well with all that she had going on.
Sue readily admits that without parkrun and the sense of family, belonging and well-being which sprung from it would have made coping with the operation and subsequent treatment much harder and although she now has ten years of taking tablets she is determined to put it behind her and is well on the way to getting back on track with her parkrun times.
On the 14 July 2018 Sue celebrated her 250th parkrun which was made all the more special by the rousing welcome she received from the other parkrunners as she entered the funnel.
On Saturday we welcomed back Cape Pembroke Lighthouse parkrun, in the Falkland Islands, and all three events in Australia’s Northern Territory, representing another positive moment in the gradual return of parkrun events around the world. It was great to see the unofficial parkrun podcast, With Me Now, live-streaming from Nightcliff and Palmerston parkruns. If…
There are just a few days to go before this Saturday’s reopening of Cape Pembroke Lighthouse parkrun on the Falkland Islands, as well as all three events in Australia’s Northern Territory. It’s an incredibly exciting time for all of us and I’m sure I can speak on behalf of the entire parkrun family when I…