A 47-year-old mother has completed London’s three big endurance challenges in less than a year – all while undergoing cancer treatment.
Ramona Barton, from North Nesting, has joined an elite list of athletes by running the London Marathon, cycling 100 miles between London and Essex and swimming the Serpentine in Hyde Park.
That makes her one of only 6,000 people to have completed all three events, called the London Classics, which has seen her enter its Hall of Fame.
Incredibly Barton – who was diagnosed with breast cancer in June 2021 – trained for and completed all three while undergoing life-changing surgery, taking chemotherapy tablets daily and attending weekly hospital appointments on the mainland.
“It feels unreal that my poor body, battered by cancer treatment, was able to achieve something extraordinary,” she said. “I’m very proud of myself.
“I had a love/hate relationship with my body for a long time. I felt like my body had let me down.
“I’m beginning to love my body again. When I finished the last challenge, I felt like a Marvel superhero.”
Barton – who is the mother of a young daughter and works for the SIC – has shared her story to encourage other people living with any type of curable cancer to get active.
And now she has done it once, incredibly she said her goal was to do it all again –health-permitting.
“There’s over 6,000 people that have done it once, but how many have done it twice?
“I’ve already signed up for the 100-mile cycle again next year, and I’ll keep applying for the London Marathon.
“These are hopes, these are dreams, but it’s all treatment-related.”
She has raised money for Samuel’s Charity, which supports serious and terminally-ill children, during her endurance efforts.
She reiterated her call for anyone living with a curable cancer to use exercise as a way to help them during their treatment.
“I’m not saying that all cancer patients should be signing up to the London Classics, but this is me saying to fellow cancer patients, ‘you can achieve things like this’.
“If I can achieve this, why don’t you give it a go?”
People can donate to Barton’s fundraiser for the Samuel’s Charity by going to: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/ramonabarton-swimserpentine
FULL STORY IN TOMORROW’S SHETLAND TIMES