Metropole owners meet running legends at Chicago Marathon

Wednesday 8th November 2017 1:41 pm
Picture shows Judy Baird-Murray, spa manager at The Metropole, with her running heroes Steve Jones and Paula Radcliffe.

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JUSTIN and Judy Baird-Murray, from the family-owned four-star Metropole Hotel & Spa in Llandrindod Wells, have run the Chicago Marathon as part of their year-long quest to raise money for the Pancreatic Cancer Research Fund.

Earlier this year Judy Baird-Murray ran the London Marathon in memory of her father-in-law, David Baird-Murray OBE, who died of the disease.

Pancreatic Cancer is the fifth most common cause of cancer death in the UK. It has over the years claimed many high profile lives including recently the actor John Hurt.

Sadly in December of last year a previous general manager of The Metropole, Nick Ireland, also died after a brave fight against the disease. He was only 53 years of age.

“It is important to raise awareness about the disease, and to aid research into finding better treatment - survival rates for pancreatic cancer have not improved at the rates of those for most other cancers,” said Judy, who runs the Rock Spa at The Metropole.

“Forty years ago three per cent of people diagnosed with pancreatic cancer survived five years or more. That figure is still the same now.”

Judy said that running in Chicago with 44,000 other runners was an unforgettable experience.

She finished the race in just under five hours, while husband Justin ran three hours 25 minutes 51 seconds.

Judy added: “Running the Chicago Marathon was a great experience, as everyone was so supportive, and the event brought us closer to our target of raising £10k for our cause. We have raised £8,359 so far.”

The race was won by American runner Galen Rupp, Mo Farah’s former training partner, in 2:09:20, while the women’s race was won by Ethiopia’s Tirunesh Dibaba in 2:18.31.

Judy was also delighted to meet two of her running heroes prior to the race, Steve Jones and Paula Radcliffe, both previous winners of the Chicago Marathon. Fellow Welshman Steve, who won in both 1984 and 1985, has kept in touch with Judy on social media and the two look forward to meeting up again at the Newport Wales Marathon in April 2018.

From his training centre in Boulder, Colorado, where Steve trains many top athletes he said: “It was easy to spot Judy, dressed as she was in her Welsh dragon running top, and Paula and I were pleased to offer her encouragement prior to the race.

“The next big event I’m involved in in Wales is the Newport Marathon on April 29 and I look forward to welcoming a big field, including Judy to that.”

Anyone who would like to support research into pancreatic cancer, can do so at