Runner in cavewoman marathon challenge

18th April 2019

A runner battling injury is hoping to set the world record for being the fastest cavewoman to run the London Marathon – all in the name of charity.

Nicky McKenzie, who is originally from Worcester, is training for the 26.2-mile challenge in support of St Richard’s Hospice, which cared for her mum.

The challenge will see her run the route in under four hours dressed as a cavewoman and carrying a 1kg club – despite recovering from a foot injury.

“I lost my mum to bowel cancer four years ago,” explained the mum-of-two.

“She was cared for on the in-patient unit for three weeks and the hospice showed amazing support and care at a very dark time in my life.

“I applied to run the London Marathon in 2016 for St Richard’s as a way to help raise money and deal with my grief. I hadn’t run much more than 5k before then – but it was simply awesome!”

Mrs McKenzie, who lives in Farnham, raised more than £3,000 with her first marathon and was inspired to take on a further three. She eventually qualified for championship entry into the 2018 London Marathon after running a half marathon in one hour, 29 minutes.

However, the 42-year-old was forced to defer her place due to an injury which saw her hang up her running shoes for almost a year.

Following physiotherapy and rest, the runner is now looking ahead to tackling the marathon on Sunday, 28th April – with the new ambition of setting a Guinness World Record.

“I decided running in the championships would be a bad idea, but I didn’t want my deferred place to go to waste,” said the hairdresser.

“I needed a new goal and I wanted to raise money for the hospice again, so the Guinness World Record attempt seemed the perfect opportunity. I also thought it would be pretty cool to tell my kids their mum achieved a world record.”

She chose a cavewoman outfit believing it would be easy to run in – not anticipating the heavy club she would have to carry. But after trialling the costume at the Reading Half Marathon she is feeling confident.

Altogether, a total of 10 runners will take on the London Marathon in support of St Richard’s Hospice.

Jodi Brandwood, hospice fundraiser, said: “We are so inspired by Nicky’s challenge and wish her the very best for the day.

“On behalf of everyone here at St Richard’s, I’d like to say thank you to Nicky and all our marathon runners for supporting St Richard’s.”

To support Mrs McKenzie, visit

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

During this challenging time, we are doing our utmost to continue caring for the patients and loved ones who need us most.

The way we work has been adapted, with many of our services delivered remotely – such as over the phone, or by video call. And we are working closely with other health care professionals in Worcestershire to share knowledge and expertise at this time.

Latest changes at St Richard’s Hospice

  • In-patient Unit: To protect patients and staff  from the spread of the virus, we are following national guidance and therefore it is with regret we are not able to accept visitors. Please do not hesitate to contact the In-patient Unit with any questions on 01905 958163. Thank you for your understanding at this difficult time.
  • Community Nursing: Community services continue to operate, with a mixture of hands-on care and remote support.
  • Living Well and Family Support Services: Switched to virtual model, with care given remotely over the phone or via video call.
  • Shops: All 19 of our shops and warehouse are temporarily closed. Please do not leave donations outside our shops, as we are unable to collect them at this time.
  • Fundraising: All hospice organised events until the end of August have been postponed. If you wish to support us, please donate to our Resilience Fund.

Please do not visit St Richard’s Hospice if you have a high temperature or new, continuous cough. If you have these symptoms, please stay at home and self-isolate for seven days. See NHS advice on coronavirus.

Thank you for your support and understanding at this difficult time.