Biggleswade mum ‘no way a natural runner’ to take on London Marathon to raise funds for Brain Tumour Research

Biggleswade marathon runner Abi Mackenzie. Photo: Courtesy of Abi Mackenzie

Biggleswade marathon runner Abi Mackenzie. Photo: Courtesy of Abi Mackenzie - Credit: Archant

A Biggleswade mum who describes herself as ‘no way a natural runner’ is set to run the London Marathon next month to raise cash in honour of a close relative living with a brain tumour.

Abi Mackenzie, who manages the Retreat Beauty Spa and Boutique in London Road, has raised £2,600 so far for Brain Tumour Research – and she’s aiming for a total of £5,000.

The charity’s work has helped keep her close family member alive for years after she was given just six months to live – and 32-year-old Abi feels she needs to pay it back.

The married mum-of-two told the Comet: “I’m in no way a natural runner but I feel I need to give something back to this charity.

“Nine years ago a close family member was diagnosed with a brain tumour and was given just six months to live.

“At the time her two children were both under five.

“She has since had two lots of brain surgery, chemo and radiotherapy – but unfortunately her tumour can never be fully removed.

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“The fact that she is still here is truly amazing, and it’s down to the amazing research being done.”

The London Marathon is on April 23, St George’s Day, and sees more than 50,000 runners take the route from Greenwich to Buckingham Palace via Canary Wharf and Westminster.

Abi has been training both around Biggleswade and in the capital, gradually building up larger and larger distances to get to the 26.2 miles of a marathon.

Her practice runs have included the Milton Keynes Winter Half Marathon in December, the London Winter Run 10k last month and the North London Half Marathon on March 12.

Abi’s fundraising for the charity has also included a barn dance, a raffle and a tea and cake week at work.

She said: “Twenty per cent of cancers go to the brain, and it’s the biggest cancer killer for those under 40. It’s quite scary really. I’m really pleased to be raising money for this cause.”

On Sunday Abi completed her longest distance yet – 16 miles – and she’s set to beat that this Saturday with an 18-mile run.

In one of her posts on her fundraising page, she wrote: “My hardest run ever today – the only thing that kept my legs moving was the fact it’s all for Brain Tumour Research.”

If you’d like to find out more about Abi’s fundraising or make a donation, see You can also make a donation by text – write BTRL50, followed by your donation amount, to 70070