Everything I do within my sport is a tribute to him
Nicki Aitken, Head of Microsoft, HP & Dell Partnerships at Ultima Business Solutions and part time Great Britain Triathlete/Duathlete, sadly lost her Father 7 years ago at Thames Hospice. She now runs in his honour and is an inspiration to us all.
Nicki, 36, started running when she was just 14 years old and, with 8 marathons under her belt, hasn't stopped since.
Nicki’s Father was an avid supporter of her racing career, which sees her compete in track, cross country and road races. This year, she took part in the Windsor Half Marathon, a favourite of her father’s, to raise money for Thames Hospice. Though no stranger to the route, it still proved to be a difficult but hugely enjoyable run. She said: “I love the Windsor Half as a local race and it’s a stunning course, but it’s not an easy race as the course is quite undulating but the crowd is fantastic and it’s a great family event.
“It was emotional in a good way. I was very close to my Dad and I have great memories of racing here when Dad was alive.”
Nicki set her personal best at the London Marathon-with an impressive time of 2 hours 54 minutes, a really special memory for her. Since then Nicki has turned to the world of long course triathlon and duathlon, becoming European Bronze medallist in her age group, and the 5th lady overall.
You have to go through some demanding training to complete the tough races; Nicki is currently building up to the 2015 season, to include the Winter Duathlon series with F3 Events at Eton Dorney, a return to the European Duathlon Championships in Holland and onwards to her first Ironman, Challenge Roth, in July. Nicki told us that "not a day goes by without thinking about him, everything I do within my sport now is a tribute to him”.
Nicki, from Lower Earley, also spoke to us about the time she shared with her father at Thames Hospice. She said: “Thames Hospice were amazing in his final few weeks, you don’t realise the fantastic work done until you’re in the middle of it. The staff were so supportive and made a very difficult time less so.”
If the talented local sportswoman could give anyone considering doing a challenge for Thames Hospice some advice, she said it would be: ”JUST DO IT! Life is too short; be inspired by those who are no longer with us and for the amazing work and support Thames Hospice provides.”