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Best foot foward: Holt man to run London Marathon following wife’s unexpected death

PUBLISHED: 17:10 19 April 2017 | UPDATED: 17:10 19 April 2017

Dickon Best is running the London Marathon in memory of his wife, Gemma, pictured here with the couple's daughter, Ottilie. Picture supplied by EACH.

Dickon Best is running the London Marathon in memory of his wife, Gemma, pictured here with the couple's daughter, Ottilie. Picture supplied by EACH.

Archant

A man who last conquered the London Marathon over 10 years ago is to run again following the unexpected death of his wife.

Dickon Best with daughter Ottilie: Picture: Supplied by Dickon Best Dickon Best with daughter Ottilie: Picture: Supplied by Dickon Best

Dickon Best, 42, from Cromer Road in Holt, became a widower in 2015 when his wife Gemma died, aged 37. Ottilie, the couple’s daughter, was just two at the time.

He is running the race on Sunday, April 23 to raise money for East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices , which cares for children and young people with life-threatening conditions.

He said: “Just after the marathon it will be two years since Gemma died. There is no way of doing justice to her memory but running the marathon has given me a focus and plenty of time to think about her.

“Gemma was born in Norfolk and had an amazing passion and love for her home. Supporting an East Anglian charity whose focus is on supporting children would have been something she would have approved of.

“Ottilie is going to grow up without her mummy physically, but she has her family in Norfolk to love and support her and share some amazing memories.

“Life would be so much more difficult if we didn’t have those funny and loving memories of Gemma, the support of family and friends, and each other.

“So whilst I can feel sorry for myself, I am alive and have the most amazing daughter, who looks like she will develop into the same staggeringly unique woman that her mummy was.

“So the challenge is to feel some pain, do some thinking, try and make Ottilie proud of her daddy, and raise some money for a charity that I know Gemma would have approved of.”

He added: “The Duchess of Cambridge opened EACH’s Holt shop last year and thinking about what her husband went through when he was young, in losing his mother, it made supporting something they are connected to feel even more right.”

Mr Best works for multinational professional services network PricewaterhouseCoopers. The last time he ran the 26.2 miles of the marathon he clocked 4hrs 20mins. He hopes to better that time in 2017.

Mr Best is one of six runners with an EACH marathon place and will be joined in competing for the charity by others who obtained spots in the public ballot.

To support him, visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Dickon-Best

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