Brave breast cancer runner from Barnsley celebrates engagement as partner goes down on one knee at finish of London Marathon

Paul Kippax got down on one knee and asked Judith Hygate to marry him at the end of the London Marathon.
Paul Kippax got down on one knee and asked Judith Hygate to marry him at the end of the London Marathon.

This loved up couple from Barnsley are toasting a double celebration after getting engaged during the London Marathon.

It was a double celebration for this loved up couple from Barnsley after they got engaged at the end of the London Marathon.

Judith Hygate, aged 51, who was diagnosed with breast cancer for the second time in February, was shocked when her partner Paul Kippax, 44, went down on one knee and whipped out a ring at end of the 26.2 mile course.

Unknown to Judith, Paul had carried the ring all the way around the course and managed to get down on one knee to pop the question just as she crossed the finish line.

Paul completed the run in three hours 42 minutes, while Judith finished in four hours, ten minutes.

Judith, who was first treated for breast cancer in 1992 when she was just 29, was running with Paul to raise funds for Cancer Research UK – the event’s official charity.

Brave Judith, who is no stranger to long distance running has completed the London Marathon before and already has her sights set on the Race to the Stones 100km ultra race this summer, began her treatment for cancer with two lumpectomies in February and March.

She has now started taking Tamoxifen, a hormone therapy drug for breast cancer, and begins 15 sessions of radiotherapy this week.

Paul has so far raised around £3000 for Cancer Research UK which is hoping to raise £2.5 million through the London Marathon.

Lisa Millett, of Cancer Research UK, said: “We’re thrilled for Judith and Paul and were honoured to be able to enjoy this special day with them. 
“It’s thanks to the generosity and commitment of people like our amazing marathon runners that our doctors, nurses and scientists are able to go on making progress in the fight against cancer to help people like Judith. But there’s still so much more we need to do.

“That’s why we hope anyone who has been inspired by the marathon will pull on their trainers and take on a running challenge for Cancer Research UK. It’s about strength in numbers. “Cancer’s big, but united we’re bigger.”