12:00PM, Thursday 16 March 2017
The sister of a 19-year-old music student killed by a drink-driver has started a year-long running challenge in her memory.
The Hollands family, from Cox Green, was devastated when youngest daughter Bryony died in Nottingham in August 2015.
Now Keren Hollands, 23, plans to run 12 half-marathons in 12 months to raise money for the Brake charity, which campaigns for safer roads.
“It still doesn’t feel real and I don’t think it will ever feel real,” she said.
“I graduated this summer and that was hard because it was a big family event she wasn’t able to come to.
“I think it really makes you realise there will be a lot more things she won’t be able to be there for, through no fault of her own.
“It’s difficult because we were such a close family and she was my best friend.”
Keren, who works for Cancer Research UK’s sports fundraising team, competed her first race, the Wokingham Half Marathon, last month with her father Mark.
Last year he raised £3,240 for the Nordoff Robbins music therapy charity by completing a 5km Parkrun in 19 minutes and 59 seconds, a target inspired by the fact Bryony would never reach the age of 20.
The former Cox Green School pupil is also due to run in Vienna later this month, as well as the Maidenhead Easter 10 in April – she will make up the extra miles by carrying on to her parent’s house after crossing the finish line.
A Just Giving page set up to support her campaign has already secured almost half of her £2,017 fundraising total.
She said: “I just hope people will realise how serious speeding and drink-driving actually is and that it’s a serious offence which devastates other people’s lives.
“If it stops one person going out there and potentially causing an accident then that has saved one family and group of friends what we’ve been through.”
She added: “If she [Bryony] was able to know that by doing this it could stop that one person going out and taking someone’s life then I think she would be proud.”
Visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/4Bry to find out more.
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