Sharon’s marathon effort for Harrogate Hospice charity

A well-known Harrogate face will be swapping the streets of our Spa town for the streets of London next week, when she tackles the challenge of a lifetime, in support of Saint Michael’s.

Sharon Canavar, chief executive of Harrogate International Festivals, has been training hard for the London marathon for months – in between working on some of the town’s most popular summer events.

Sharon got hooked on running early last year and ran the Great North Run for Saint Michael’s Hospice, managing a good time “in an amazing atmosphere and on an incredibly hot day.”

With just one precious place in the iconic London Marathon up for grabs, Saint Michael’s invited people to apply for the place, asking potential runners to detail how they would raise funds for their hometown hospice. Sharon was chosen and, six months later is ready to face 26.2miles.

Sharon said:  “Training has been enjoyable and hellish – and everything in between. The dread of the long runs is horrid but then chipping away at the miles feels great and to finish is amazing.

“Plus you know you’re running for an amazing local charity that does great work. A reliance on you to complete the run and ensure the money comes in definitely focuses the mind!

“I’m running for Saint Michael’s because they offer a unique service right on the doorstep of Harrogate. My family are funeral directors that go back generations and Saint Michael’s have always been held in high esteem for their care and commitment.  On a more personal level, Saint Michael’s cared for both my grandfather and a family friend when I was a teenager, both at an incredibly difficult and horrid part of their lives, but they made it easier. “

 Sharon has smashed her original fundraising target of £2.5k and is now set fair for to raise a staggering £7,000 to support local people living with terminal illness and bereavement.

 “I’m chuffed to bits with how generous people have been, including people from all quarters – from my dentist to people I don’t really know at all. Some donations have made me absolutely weep, but thank you to everyone that has given, it really does mean a lot.”

On the big day, Sharon will be cheered on by family members who are travelling down with her, as well as London-based friends who have promised to come and shout their support.

If you’d like to add your support to Sharon’s marathon effort,

 If you’ve been inspired to run for Saint Michael’s, we still have a couple of places left in September’s Great North Run. T: (01423) 878 628 or E: to secure your place today.




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