Sisters conquer epic marathon to pay tribute to dead friend raising more than £3,000 for brain tumour research
PUBLISHED: 11:52 17 July 2019
A Kilburn midwife and her sister have conquered an epic endurance challenge in tribute to a friend who died from a brain tumour.
Belinda and Stephanie Ensten took part in the ultra-marathon Race to the King last month raising £3,810 for Brain Tumour Research.
The sisters were devastated when their 27-year-old friend Daniel Dewar died in October, less than a year after being diagnosed.
Their challenge involved a 53-mile run along the South Downs Way on June 22 and 23 which they completed in 17 hours 32 minutes.
They conquered 23.4 miles on day one, climbing 2,718ft in the process, then had little time for recovery before tackling a 30-mile run with a 2,333ft climb on day two. Belinda, who works at the Whittington Hospital in Archway, said: "That was the hardest thing I've ever done.
"Thinking of Dan's determination and the suffering of people and their families with brain tumours got me through.
"However, it did get pretty bleak around mile 40 when my blisters were building.
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"I feel so grateful to Steph for supporting me through it and of course to everyone donating and encouraging us through."
Stephanie, who lives in south London, added: "What an amazing challenge.
"It was a really tough weekend but such a thrill to cross that finish line knowing we'd raised so much for a cause close to our hearts. We had some great support along the way, and a big thank you to all of our sponsors."
The sisters smashed their £2,740 target, the amount it costs per day to sponsor a Brain Tumour Research Centre of Excellence.
They hope to commission a tile for Dan on the centre's Wall of Hope where sponsors and loved ones fighting, or lost to, brain tumours are recognised.
"I feel a bit lost now it's over but looking forward to getting that tile on the Wall of Hope and continuing Dan's legacy," Belinda added.
Janice Wright, community fundraising manager for BTR in London, said the sisters' determination was "inspirational", adding: "We can't thank them enough for their amazing efforts.
"Dan's story reminds us that brain tumours kill more men under the age of 45 than prostate cancer yet historically just 1 per cent of the national spend on cancer research has been allocated to this devastating disease."