Runner tackles Leicester Marathon for heart research

By Sophie Sandberg

Thousands of runners took over the streets of Leicester on Sunday (Oct 15) to raise money for local charities and participate in the annual Leicester Marathon.

The event created a big fuss as a full and a half marathon, plus a relay, took place throughout the city, closing several main roads to all passing traffic.


Among the many participants was Liam Breslin, 39, a fitter from Melton Mowbray, who entered the marathon to raise money for the Beat SCAD organisation.

“My wife, Rebecca, now 39, had a SCAD (spontaneous coronary artery dissection) in 2012 when she was 34. It was a huge shock.

“I was working away when I received a call one morning – it was Rebecca’s number but it wasn’t her voice when I answered: her brother-in-law said she was unwell and being taken to hospital in an ambulance.

“I had no idea what was going on – she’d been fine when I spoke to her the previous night.

“She had a heart attack due to SCAD but we had no idea why it happened or what caused it… we still don’t know. Since then, Rebecca has managed to get research started in Leicester and set up the Beat SCAD charity to find answers,” said Mr Breslin.


The couple launched the charity in 2015 with two fellow survivors and initiated the UK’s first SCAD research study which has been underway at Glenfield Hospital and Leicester NIHR Biomedical Research Centre since 2014.

Through donations, Liam Breslin managed to raise £401.20 before the marathon took place and the charity itself recently donated £25,000 to heart research.

“The Beat SCAD team are already working towards the next £25K donation – hopefully even more.

“Occasionally, Beat SCAD are contacted by a family who has lost someone to SCAD. It hits home – we were lucky,”  said Rebecca.

More information about the study and how to get involved can be found on

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