THE countdown is on to London Marathon this Sunday, April 23, for Lisbellaw wife and mother of three Jackie Nicholl, whose children like to call her ‘Mum-farah’!

Jackie will be taking to the starting line in support of the charity, Crohn’s and Colitis UK - having taken her motivation from family members who suffer from these conditions.

Her husband Adrian suffers from Crohn’s, having been diagnosed at the age of 21; her cousin also suffers from Crohn’s and she has an uncle who suffers from Colitis. She points out that none of these three people are related but she is “related to all three.”

She explained that she was watching the London Marathon on television last year and that inspired her to register for the major event this year.
She selected to support the charity, Crohn’s and Colitis UK and went on its website to apply. After she learned that her place had been finalised and she was committed, she said she began fundraising for the charity.

So far she has accumulated a total of £2,276. This figure includes a coffee morning held in Lisbellaw Parish Centre in February which raised £1,552.50.

The Church was very supportive to this effort, according to Jackie, who is also appreciative of Lisbellaw Primary School which held a bun sale this month, April, which raised £315. Her cousin who works in a hairdresser’s in Fivemiletown is also fundraising for her, and the amount is still to come in.

Speaking this week as the date for the London Marathon fast approaches, Jackie confessed she is starting to get “slightly nervous.”

She said she is determined to complete the marathon and in her own words says she is “very headstrong and will go across the finishing line.”

One of many thousands of runners due to take part, she says she likes “to think of finish lines not finish times!”

She adds that she “will be just so elated and proud” to cross over the finish line. “A mile is still a mile whether it is an eight minute mile or 12 minute mile!” she said.

She has been putting in diligent training and preparations for this weekend, and as well as running about four times a week - fitting it in around her family, home and working life - she trains at Colebrooke Fitness with Wayne Lyons, her cousin, once a week.

Having started running about two years ago, she began with 10ks - competing in 10ks province-wide - and she built up to 10 miles, half marathons, and then ran her first marathon - Belfast Marathon - last year.

Heading to London with her will be her husband Adrian and their son Wayne. She gives a special mention to Adrian for all his support, and jokes: “He hopes I have completed the marathon by Monday as we have a flight home!”

In running this year’s London Marathon, Jackie explains: “I am ultimately raising funds and much needed awareness for this charity, the sufferers and their families that go through this everyday.”

She feels “even if this makes one more person read about Crohn’s and Colitis,” she believes it will be another that will become more aware of the diseases, how strong their sufferers are “and hopefully raise funds for new treatments, emotional help and other support.”

She points out: “As a solo runner the training can be undoubtedly an immense and physical challenge with a busy working/family life but it is made significantly easier knowing that I am running for a charity so close to my heart.When I go out running I like to call it my happy hour (or three on my long run) where I can unwind and process life in general!”

Looking forward to Sunday, she admits the “nerves are kicking in but also the excitement as it will be an amazing experience.”

Yesterday, Wednesday, she extended her heartfelt thanks to each and everyone who has kindly donated and helped her in any way so far.

Anyone still wishing to donate can do so via the Virgin giving link ‘’.