Sarah (pictured right) was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in November 2022 and died just 5 weeks later, aged only 64. A former teacher who supported children with special educational needs, Sarah had only recently retired to Norfolk from London with husband Giulio and was looking forward to spending more time with her large family who live in the area.
“It’s really hard to express the depth of our loss.” says Ricc. “Mum was a truly special person and had a total dedication to others throughout her life. She was funny, ditsy and had a fantastic dry sense of humour. Her natural empathy with people meant that she made everyone feel special and we’ve had so many messages along these lines from her former students, their parents and her former colleagues at her school. It’s lovely to know the deep affection that everyone felt for her.”
The brothers, who live in London and Bath, planned to set off at sunrise from Scratby and complete their epic run by sunset on Branchester beach near their parents’ house, where they’d be met by friends and family to celebrate and perhaps cool off with a quick swim if they had any energy left!
“This was a brutal challenge for all three of us,” Ricc says, “but we wanted to set a target that was sufficiently daunting but achievable and worth fighting for. None of us has run further than a marathon and in fact every training session set a new distance record for me!” says Ricc.
Ricc reported back after the event:
“The start was beautiful but quickly became quite difficult – the first 20-30km was mainly on sandy dunes, which made progress slow to begin with. We had a host of friends and family joining us at stops as we made our way across the coastline towards Brancaster. By Cromer we had around 8 people running with us and by Wells-next-the-Sea we had about 12!
“Cos and I had knee problems and I nearly had to pull out at 60km but luckily a friend bought a knee brace that saw me through the last 40km.The momentum and energy our running support gave us carried us through to Holkham – the point we considered to be the start of our 15km home stretch. From there it was a case of gritting our teeth. We crossed the finish line onto the beach at around 21:18, an hour later than planned but still just in time for the 21:25 sunset! There were about 40 friends and family ready and waiting with fish & chips from the local store, and plenty of refreshments. We were shattered and within an hour we were all in bed!
“We’re incredibly proud of the physical achievement, the manner in which we organised it ourselves, the way friends and family came together – something mum would have been particularly happy about – and of course the money we managed to raise. We’re excited to plan something again in the future but probably not for a little while and maybe not running if we don’t manage to fix our knee issues!”
The brothers’ fundraising total has topped £80k to date and is still rising. “Our wish is that no other family has to go through what we went through – that at least they have more time and hope than we were afforded,” says Ricc. “It’s a real testament to how much mum was loved that the money keeps coming in.”
Maggie Blanks, PCRF’s CEO echoed this, adding: “This is a truly astonishing amount of money that will help to fund vital research. We are so grateful to all those who’ve supported Ricc, Cos and Teo in honouring Sarah in such a wonderful way.”
Their JustGiving page is at https://www.justgiving.com/page/codacci-coastal-100km