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Becca Hall is expecting tomorrow's race will be a long, hard slog.

Despite that, she has pledged to finish the Appleby Bermuda Half Marathon Derby even if it's “on my hands and knees”.

Charity is what's fuelling her.

She's hoping to raise enough cash through the 13.1-mile run to buy seven smart TVs for the children's ward at King Edward VII Memorial Hospital.

The 31-year-old was a frequent visitor to Gosling Ward as the nanny for Brennan Watkins, a five-year-old with leukaemia.

“The nurses are so lovely there,” she said. “The new part of the hospital is amazing. It is fresh and clean, but when you look at where the children are, it's falling apart.

“They have a television on the ward but it is old and doesn't work anymore.”

By Friday, she'd raised $2,261 in pledges, with $739 left to go.

“If I don't raise all the money, I'll just cover the difference myself,” she said. “The televisions are already set aside at Audio Visual Electronics. They're giving me a discount.”

She started running a year ago out of sheer boredom.

“I was living in Boston while Brennan was getting treatment there,” she said.

“I didn't know anybody, and a lot of the time I didn't have much to do.”

It was difficult at first, but she worked her way up to three miles.

“I found I liked doing it,” she said.

She returned to Bermuda with the Watkins family in January.

Sporty friends Deidre O'Hanlon and Ricky Maybury encouraged her to keep running.

“I have been training with them on the weekends,” she said. “I run by myself during the week.

She's participated in a couple of races although training hasn't always been easy. When she started to increase her distance her toenails started to turn black and fall out.

“I think it is just because I am running further,” she said.

“My hardest run was two weekends ago when I ran ten miles for the first time.

“Someone dropped us off in St George's and we ran the route as far as the Arboretum in Devonshire.”

She wasn't sure if she could do it when she set off, and she became less sure as the miles passed.

“On Middle Road, everything after the Aquarium was horrific hills,” she said.

When the Arboretum finally came into view she felt overwhelming relief.

“I did not enjoy that run but I felt accomplished afterward,” she said.

Last Sunday she ran a little further, but had other problems.

“I ran from my house in Warwick to Dockyard,” she said. “It wasn't the greatest success if I'm honest.

“I had a problem with my camel pack leaking the whole way so I lost most of the water I was carrying for the run but I got it done and rewarded myself with a huge ice cream when I got to Dockyard.”

Being from Middlesbrough, North Yorkshire it's been particularly hard dealing with the heat.

“I'll have been in Bermuda almost three years,” she said. “We don't get this kind of weather where I'm from.

“So I've been trying to run at midday to get used to it.

“All my friends back home are getting married and starting families. It's my 32nd birthday on Friday, I want to be able to say I ran a half-marathon.”


On the path to recovery: Becca Hall training with Brennan Watkins, who has been battling with leukaemia
Making great strides: Becca Hall training with Brennan Watkins
Becca Hall training for tomorrow's Appleby Bermuda Half Marathon Derby with some coaching from Brennan Watkins (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)
Becca Hall training for tomorrow's Appleby Bermuda Half Marathon Derby with some coaching from Brennan Watkins (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)
Becca Hall training for tomorrow's Bermuda Half Marathon Derby (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

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Published May 23, 2017 at 9:00 am (Updated May 23, 2017 at 1:02 pm)

Woman races to buy TVs

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