21st March 2023

Karen’s London Marathon story

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Experienced Marathon runner Karen Costagliola is taking on the London Marathon in honour of her mum Marietta who died from lung cancer in February this year. Despite the trying times, the USA based runner is determined to cross the iconic finish line.  

“I’ve been running for many years; I’ve completed the New York marathon five times and the Chicago Marathon twice. But this is the first without my mum.  

When I originally signed up, I was running in honour of her but sadly she passed away before she could see me complete the London Marathon. She was always my biggest supporter; she’d come to every race and would cheer the loudest to make sure everyone knew I was her daughter.  

It saddens me to know she won’t be here this time, but I know she is happy I am raising funds to help save lives and prolong lives of those living with lung cancer.  

I know she will be with me the entire 26.2 miles.”

My London Marathon journey

“With the passing of my mum, it’s hard to say what running the London Marathon means to me but I hope that in my own way I can help to extend at least one life and most of all, make my mum proud of me!  

I’m lucky to have a strong support system. My husband, two children and sister are always encouraging me in my marathons as are my many aunts, uncles and cousins who never waver in their support.  

Their support inspires me to keep pushing on, but I must admit my training has lapsed in the last few months, but I’m going to give it my best shot and I’m working hard to catch up on my miles. I ran the New York marathon six months ago so I’m hoping muscle memory will kick in! 

Despite the sadness of my mum’s death, I am looking forward to running the beautiful scenic route of London and hope I feel my mum’s presence with me to give me the strength to finish. 

Why I’m running the London Marathon

“My mum was a hero, a warrior and the strongest person I knew. She survived breast cancer, beating it 15 years ago before being diagnosed with stage 4 non-small cell lung cancer with EGFR mutation in May 2020. 

In the last three years mum was treated with immunotherapy, chemotherapy and had the left lower lobe of her lung removed. Throughout all of this she remained positive but unfortunately, her cancer continued to progress and in February the decision was made to make her as comfortable as possible.  

This was very hard to hear because we shared a very special relationship. I was her baby, and we did everything together, she was my best friend. Running the London Marathon is just one way I can honour her memory.” 

To support Karen, visit her fundraising page here.