NEWBURYPORT — It’s been more than two years since Newburyport resident Nicole Elliot lost her mother, Brenda Lee Brockelbank, to cancer in 2011 and she’s determined to keep her mother’s memory and spirit alive by doing her part to help find a cure.
The 28-year-old Elliot and her close friend, Jennifer Lambert of Rowley, who also lost her mother to cancer in 2010, have teamed up the past three years to run the 13.1-mile Dana-Farber Half Marathon in Boston. The event supports The Jimmy Fund.
They are set to do so again Sunday and every year thereafter, as long as they’re able.
“This will be our fourth year running in the race, and Jenn and I have stayed by each other’s side for each one,” said Elliot, who served five years of active duty in the Air Force and is currently a member of the Air Force Reserve working for the Department of Defense at Hanscom Air Force Base. “We encourage and motivate each other along the route, always reminding ourselves that this is our ‘Miles for Moms.’”
The expression “Miles for Moms” came about when Lambert’s mother, Nadine Bolen, during her sickness, would tell her daughter before going out for a run, to “run a mile for me.”
“It’s our way of keeping their spirit and memory alive. We run because our moms can’t,” Elliot said. “Our moms were amazing women, our biggest supporters, and they provided us with so much strength. They truly were the most empathetic and compassionate people you could ever meet. This is our way of giving back.”
Elliot, who is originally from Salisbury and attended Triton Regional High School, took up running upon her entry into the Air Force eight years ago. She and Lambert will be joined in this year’s race by Lambert’s sister, Sarah, her aunt, Alysson Lambert, and friend, Jessica King.