Widow to run half marathon on husband’s birthday

Nicola, with daughters Evie and Isla, is raising cash in memory of Colin. Picture: Phil Wilkinson
Nicola, with daughters Evie and Isla, is raising cash in memory of Colin. Picture: Phil Wilkinson
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A WIDOW is to run the Edinburgh Half Marathon in memory of her husband on what would have been his 40th birthday – despite having a fractured ankle.

Nicola Campbell will take part with friends as part of “Team Colin”, even though she suffered a stress fracture to her ankle during training.

Colin, a successful lawyer, died of sudden adult death syndrome on his way home from playing tennis in February last year, aged just 38.

The rare condition affects the heart and is generally undiagnosed until it proves fatal.

Nicola, 37, and the couple’s two young daughters, Evie, now three, and Isla, 16 months, were living in London at the time but moved back to her home city to be near family.

When she saw the race would take place on his birthday, Nicola, of Corstorphine, thought it was fate.

“I thought it was meant to be when it fell on his birthday,” she said. “When I sent an e-mail to his best friends at university there was no hesitation, they signed up 

“It’s going to be a massive day. In the evening we’re going to have a 40th birthday party for Colin.”

Since signing up, Nicola has been beset by injury problems, first hurting her hip then suffering her ankle agony.

She has chosen to ignore the advice of medical staff, who told her she needed to rest it, and is determined to complete the 13-mile course.

She said: “I wept when I was told by the nurse that I wasn’t able to run. I don’t think she could quite understand why I was so upset about not being able to run in a race.

“I went back to the physio who said they knew I was going to run anyway, so I now have a leg strap that will hopefully see me through.

“It doesn’t get sore until I stop so my theory is I’m just going to have to keep going. I’m determined to run.”

Nicola, who documents her grief through her blog Widows Don’t Wear Black, is hoping to raise £10,000 with her team for the British Heart Foundation.

It funds research into the rare condition, which is thought could be genetic, and supports the Cardiac Risk in the Young charity.

She said Colin would be “amused” at the team’s efforts.

“I think he’d be laughing that I’d got all of his unfit friends to do a run,” she said.

To sponsor Nicola, visit www.justgiving.com/nicola-campbell5