A TEACHER is running the London Marathon in memory of her teenage neighbour.

Sam Lawrence, 37, is raising funds for mental health charity Mind following the death of a 17-year-old girl.

The mum-of-two will be joining husband David, 38, and 40,000 runners from all over the world for the iconic event on Sunday.

She hopes to raise awareness to the support available for young people if they are struggling with their mental health.

“I’m running for our lovely neighbour who sadly passed away last February, aged just 17,” said Sam, assistant headteacher and special education needs co-ordinator at King’s Leadership Academy in Warrington.

“She was always so kind and friendly and loved animals.

“I remember her skateboarding and her smiles and laughter.”

Knutsford Guardian: Sam and David Lawrence at a previous marathonSam and David Lawrence at a previous marathon (Image: Sam Lawrence)

“Mind is a brilliant charity close to my heart.

"Everyone can think of someone, a family member or friend, who has struggled at some time.”

Sam only started running after dad, Peter Lewis, 65, from Winsford, died from pancreatic cancer in 2016.

“It gave me a way to find strength and focus on something more positive,” she said.

“I’ve watched the London Marathon more times than I can remember, more often than not with my dad, as we discussed how marathon runners were bonkers.

“He’d laugh his head off at the thought of me running!”

Sam has completed eight marathons and raised more than £3,000 for Pancreatic Cancer Action.

Knutsford Guardian: Sam Lawrence has raised more than £3,000 for Pancreatic Cancer UKSam Lawrence has raised more than £3,000 for Pancreatic Cancer UK (Image: Sam Lawrence)

“London was always the ultimate,” said Sam, who has already beaten her £3,000 target for Mind.

“I have been training since October, running four times a week without fail.

“It is hard at times but when you see the progress it gives you the boost to carry on.

“I beat my previous time at this year’s Wilmslow Half Marathon, achieving one minute 46 seconds.

“Every Sunday, David and I do our long run. We’ve done 20 miles three times.

“I try to eat relatively healthily but I’m not strict with it. This final week I’m trying to get as many carbs in as I can.”

The couple have been given different timed starts for the race.

“I am excited,” said Sam. “Once we get to London it will all seem a bit more real.

“I want to thank everyone for their generous support.

“David is starting five minutes ahead of me. I’ll be chasing him down and see what happens.”

To donate visit Sam’s funding page justgiving.com/fundraising/samlawr3