Inspirational runner Nicky Spinks has been presented with the British Empire Medal following her inclusion in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List for 2018.
The 51-year-old cancer survivor and inov-8 ambassador was rewarded for her outstanding services to sport and charity. She proudly collected her medal at a ceremony held in Yorkshire, England this week.
Nicky recovered from breast cancer in 2006 and has gone on to complete several incredible running challenges, raising more than £17,000 for cancer charity Odyssey in the process.
Double Bob Graham & Double Ramsay Round
In 2016 she celebrated 10 years post-diagnosis by becoming the fastest person to run a Double Bob Graham Round in a time of 45 hours and 30 minutes. A regular Bob Graham Round sees challengers attempt a sub 24-hour completion of a 66-mile circuit over 42 English Lake District peaks that includes 27,000ft of elevation gain. Nicky, a farmer based near Huddersfield, did it twice, breaking Roger Baumeister’s previous record time by more than an hour.
Watch Run Forever, the award-winning film which documents Nicky’s Double Bob Graham Round story.
Two years later, in June 2018, Nicky became the first-ever person to complete a Double Ramsay Round. The Ramsay Round is the Scottish equivalent of a Bob Graham Round and sees challengers attempt a notoriously tough 58-mile circuit over 24 rocky summits, including 28,500ft of elevation gain, in under 24 hours. Nicky did it twice in a time of 55 hours and 56 minutes.
Through these challenges – and many others – she has continued to raise money for a charity which is close to her heart.
Raising money for charity
Nicky, who is also an inspirational coach for juniors at Penistone Footpath Runners, said: “It was a big surprise when I was named on the Queen’s Birthday Honours List and it was a proud moment to be awarded the British Empire Medal. I got to read the letters of nomination that many people close to me had written. It was very humbling, and I’d like to thank everyone who went to so much effort and wrote such kind words.
“I love pushing my physical boundaries, raising money for Odyssey and coaching runners, be that the juniors at Penistone or adults who are themselves preparing for ultra-distance running races and challenges.
“When I started the JustGiving donation page I think I remember setting a target of £2,000. To have now raised more than £17,000 is fantastic. Odyssey help people with cancer regain their self-confidence and enjoyment of life through a variety of activities. I know what these people are going through and I want to help them, so they can have fun activities planned and look ahead with positivity.”
Plans for 2019
As well as completing the Double Ramsay Round, Nicky has also raced at home and abroad in 2018. Her standout result came in September when, days after crewing fellow inov-8 ambassador Damian Hall to fifth-place at the UTMB, she won the women’s race at Ultra Tour Monte Rosa – a 105-mile event through the Italian Alps that includes a mammoth 37,000ft of ascent.
Nicky plans to push her limits again in 2019, with more personal challenges and ultra-distance races planned. It won’t surprise those who have followed her story to learn that the queen of the mountains will be doing plenty of her winter training in north Wales! Hint, hint.
As well as being a running coach, Nicky is also an experienced event speaker. Get more details about both via her website.
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