A first time marathon runner from Cornwall completed the TCS London Marathon in memory of a husband and father who died of brain cancer just weeks before Christmas.

Amateur runner Sam Boulting, from St Austell, tackled her first marathon on April 21 despite sustaining an ankle injury early on in her race.

Ms Boulting said: "Less than two miles in, I felt a pain in my ankle and I knew it would be a struggle to finish the race, but I did!

"It was definitely one of the hardest things I’ve done but a privilege to be able to do it."

She expressed a mixture of emotions on the day and admitted to spending time recuperating on a bag of ice following the event.

The motivation for her marathon debut stemmed from friend Simon Penwright, an operations director from Buckinghamshire.

Mr Penwright was diagnosed with a multifocal glioblastoma (GBM) in January 2023, and was married to Ms Boulting’s best friend, Emily Penwright - but he passed away.

Falmouth Packet:

Ms Boulting stated: "My injury forced me to walk parts of the course and I met another runner called Emily.

"We stuck together and motivated each other; I thought to myself, out of the tens of thousands of people in the race, to meet someone who shares the same name as Simon’s wife was a sign from him."

The memory of Mr Penwright wasn’t only evoked through coincidence, but with a picture of his face worn on Ms Boulting’s running leggings.

Mr Penwright, his wife Emily, their friends and family rallied to raise over £46,800 so far for Brain Tumour Research under the name Team Penwright.

Ms Boulting was one of 80 runners lacing up for the charity in the celebrated race.

Reflecting on her achievement, Ms Boulting said: "When I feel a bit sorry for myself, which is allowed, I am going to remember why I did it, remember that I did it because I could.

"There are brain tumour patients who would love to be able to do it but can't.

"My pain will go away but that’s not something that will ever happen for someone with a brain tumour or their family."

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Emily Penwright expressed her pride of her friend’s accomplishment: "I am so incredibly proud of Sam.

"She has gone from a complete non runner to completing a marathon.

"In true Sammie style she even managed to get interviewed at the end to raise more awareness for the charity."

Brain Tumour Research, the charity involved, commended Team Penwright’s efforts.

Carol Robertson, national events manager for the charity, said: "We’re really grateful to Sam for taking on this challenge for us and for supporting the vital work we do.

"We will remember Simon as we continue researching to find a cure for this devastating disease."

To support Sam Boulting’s fundraising, visit: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Samantha-Boulting.