Phoebe and Kelly, who played nurse Maria Kendall and midwife Mickie Hendrie respectively, are putting their best feet forward on October 6 for CLIC Sargent, the UK’s leading cancer charity for children and young people.
The Royal Parks Half takes place in central London, and the route includes some of the capital’s most famous green spaces, including Kensington Gardens and St James’s and Hyde Parks.
Phoebe is an experienced marathon runner who caught the running bug as a teenager, and is also a qualified personal trainer and coach. She and Kelly met through a Holby City cast member and hit if off immediately
“Phoebe suggested I have a coaching session with her to see where I was at, and how I could improve. I've never looked back,” said Kelly.
Kelly started running nine years ago, but she says her approach was initially more casual, and meeting Phoebe changed her attitude.
Phoebe decided to run for CLIC Sargent because of a family connection: “My second cousin’s son was diagnosed with leukaemia, so the cause is close to my heart,” she said.
Phoebe is the Coaching Editor at Women’s Running magazine, and her business Runningwithus is CLIC Sargent’s coaching partner, guiding all their runners towards their goals. So she wanted to support the Royal Parks Half and meet lots of the runners whom she has helped to the start line.
"I am supporting CLIC Sargent because having cancer as an adult, with the maturity to understand, is a big enough game changer, but having it as a child is a different matter,” said Kelly. “CLIC Sargent has the real help and support in place that families need. I have seen what a tremendous help they are to people.”
“Phoebe and her husband Nick Anderson coached me, and I did some training with them,” Kelly said. “It was a completely different world with track sessions and timing sessions. Then someone approached me on the Tube and asked me to do the London Marathon, so I started training for that.”
“You improve much more quickly with that intensive training. You find out about your minute mile, and you start trying to do a faster time. Because I am self-employed, I could train and run twice a day if I want to. I have a lot of respect for people who hold down a nine to five job and still train for marathons.
“I am not sure if Phoebe and I are going to run together or whether she is going to try and go for a really fast time – she is a much better runner than me!”
Phoebe, whose father represented Wales as a runner, which made her aware of the sport at an early age, said: “It did help when I was in Holby City. I was coaching people and doing personal training sessions when I could fit them in.”
Phoebe and Nick co-own Runningwithus and The Run Lounge, and provide coaching and personal training for runners. Phoebe is also a sports presenter for Channel 4 and the BBC.
Of the Royal Parks Half, Phoebe said: “I have coached so many runners that it is nice to be there and encourage them. “
Kelly added: “As part of the training for the London Marathon, I ran a half marathon in Richmond Park, which was so beautiful, it really helped me get round. When the Royal Parks Half came up, I jumped at the chance."
Phoebe has appeared in Outnumbered, Death in Paradise and ITV’s Vera, and will also be taking on theatre roles, and pantomime. Kelly has appeared in Hustle and BBC3’s Bluestones 42, which is about soldiers in Afghanistan.
“We are really pleased that Phoebe and Kelly have decided to run for us, they are both very experienced runners, who will inspire others to run and raise money to help children and young people with cancer, and their families,” said Tara Nickerson, CLIC Sargent Running Events Manager.
If you would like more information about taking part in runs for CLIC Sargent, please contact the running team on 0845 602 4770 or go to www.clicsargent.org.uk/running