An Eastbourne woman lost her husband before they could run the Beachy Head Marathon together – so she ran it in his memory instead.
Rebecca Hoedemaker married her ‘best friend’ Tristan in an emergency ceremony just three days before he died from an aggressive sarcoma cancer, aged just 27, in December.
Friends rallied around and joined Rebecca so she wouldn’t be running alone, and they all wore bright orange for the charity launched in his memory, Tristan’s Pawprints.
The A&E nurse said, “It was very emotional, it’s hard anyway but knowing I should have done it with him was very hard.”
“I did it anyway and it’s what he would have wanted. I think we all wanted to do something in his memory, it was really good we had a lot of people asking about the charity and supporting us.”
A vet nurse at St Anne’s, Tristan was an enormous animal lover so together with his family, Rebecca decided to launch a dog rescue shelter in tribute to him.
She said, “He had a connection with animals like I’d never seen, he was such a laugh and so caring.”
She added, “There’s good days and bad days. I miss him like anything, he was my best friend. It’s getting used to this new life. It’s so true when people say it doesn’t get easier but you learn to cope with it better.
“You have just got to keep going. I think it makes you more ambitious when something like this happens, it makes you realise you have just got to do those things, life is too short.”
In the future Rebecca is planning on taking on the Three Peak Challenge and Land’s End to John ‘O Groats,. “That’s something we would have probably done together. I have got to do all these adventures,” she said.
The marathon raised more than £1,000 for Tristan’s Pawprints, and the aim is to raise £50,000 to launch the shelter.
Visit www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/tristan-hoedemaker to donate or search Tristan’s Pawprints on Facebook and Instagram.