Preston dad's marathon mission

A mix of emotions will have engulfed Preston dad Jamie Wareing when he crossed the finish line at a recent county fun-run in first place.

Wednesday, 17th January 2018, 2:56 pm
Updated Wednesday, 17th January 2018, 4:00 pm
Frances, Elsie and Jamie Wareing

Two years previously his father had collapsed at the finish line and tragically lost his life a few weeks later.

Jamie has since taken up running in his father’s memory and wanted to claim the medal for the pair of them.

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Former marathon runner dies after collapsing at fun run

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Jamie and his daughter Elsie

Jamie’s one-year-old, Elsie, suffers from the rare genetic condition, Tuberous Sclerosis Complex, and he is primed to tackle the London Marathon to raise awareness, and funds, for a charity.

He tells the Lancashire Post he was more interested in football than running before the events of recent years. But that has changed in dramatic fashion.

He says: “Like my Dad, I enjoy running and since his death I’ve tried my hardest to enter as many races as possible to follow in his footsteps.

“Since he collapsed at the charity event, I have run the same one twice, the first time I came third.

Jamie and his daughter Elsie

“I felt very proud to win it this time round and have the medal around my neck, and do it in his memory.”

Derrick, a 54-year-old marathon runner, passed away in hospital a fortnight after the run on December 23, 2015. His wife, Sue, described him as someone who “always had a smile on his face and would do anything for anyone.”

More than 500 people attended a service at Preston Crematorium and 300 attended the wake. In his memory, £846.70 was collected on the day for St Catherine’s Hospice, the location of the fun-run.

Jamie and his wife, Frances, 25, who live in Ingol, welcomed Elsie into the world only a couple of months later.

He explains: “Everything went as planned and we left the hospital the same day. But (in the days following) she cried a lot and struggled to settle although we did not really think much of it until she started doing these odd movements.

“We went to the doctors several times and they could not find anything wrong with her. The odd movements increased though and her mood became worse - she would scream all day and night and hardly slept.”

Eventually, after several medical tests, the brave youngster was diagnosed first with infantile spasms and then TSC.

Jamie, a Preston City Council refuse collector, added: “We were informed that it was highly likely that Elsie would not have a normal life and due to the spasms would have some form of disability.

“Luckily for us, up to now Elsie has reached all her milestones and currently lives a pretty normal life.

“We have become involved with the Tuberous Sclerosis Association (TSA) through Elsie, it’s a charity that is close to our hearts and have helped us massively.

“Since I had taken up running, I have been wanting to run the London Marathon for a while but got rejected. Luckily, the charity had some places to run on behalf of them in 2018.

“At first, (after Derrick’s death) I was put off running, especially doing the fun-run because of the painful memories, but then I just got into it.”

No doubt when Jamie crosses the finishing line in London on April 22 his daughter, her grandfather and his entire family will be at the forefront of his mind.