A mum-of-two who volunteers as a massage therapist to cancer patients in Hounslow has reached the halfway point in a gruelling challenge to take on four ultra-marathons.
Rochelle Bell of Sunngindale turned her life around at the age of 50 after a dear friend was diagnosed with a terminal brain tumour and is hoping to raise £15,000 for two cancer charities .
For the past three years in her spare time she works with cancer patients at The Mulberry Centre in Isleworth , where she met friend Paul, 42, a husband and father living with the terrifying condition.
After Paul became too ill to run, Ms Bell decided to run for him tasking herself with four ultra-marathons totalling 577km - the equivalent of 13 marathons - in 12 months.
The 52-year-old is raising money for Brain Tumour Research and The Mulberry Centre, based at West Middlesex Hospital.
So far she has completed the UK phase of her challenge participating in the two day Race to the Stones ultra-marathon in July 2016, followed by the Atlantic Coast Challenge - the same as running three marathons in three days - in October.
The native New Yorker who has been living in the UK for 30 years is now training to take on two other challenges over desert trails next year.
Next up will be the Hajar 100 in Dubai in February, 2017, running through mountain passes and boulder ravines and over sand dunes.
Then it will be Marathon des Sables known as one of the “the toughest footrace on Earth” – covering 251km across the Sahara in six days with temperatures reaching up to 50 degrees celcius.
Ms Bell who has a day job at LA Micro in Windsor, said: “Now I’m over 50 – although I in no way feel it – I have to look after myself.
“When I’m training, I’ll eat and eat for performance and recovery, including lots of protein and good fats without too many starchy carbs.
"I mainly eat “real”, unprocessed food, but I have not given up flat whites with a good croissant or the occasional jam doughnut!”
And there's no stopping the daredevil as she is already thinking about what to do next.
"There is one in Iceland, and another in South America, that I wouldn’t mind doing,” Rochelle said. “I’m not stopping now!”
Donate at Rochelle Bell's fundraising page.
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