‘Petra will be with me every step of the way’: One woman’s marathon journey in memory of her friend


In October 2022, Petra Nerys Morgan died unexpectedly and suddenly at the age of 53. A ‘force of nature’ Petra was chief executive of the Street Lane GP Practice in Leeds and a passionate sportswoman.

It was through sport that Rebecca Noble first met Petra after joining a tennis club following her move to Leeds around 15 years ago.

Rebecca running Leeds marathon in memory of her friend Petra

They quickly became friends, often playing tennis and travelling together. Speaking of Petra, Rebecca said: “She loved sport as a way to bring people together, to build friendships and a sense of community. She was either playing sport, or in the gym or watching sport.”

“She continued living her life, right up to the last moment. She wasn’t ready to go because she had so much living to do. She’s left a big hole in people’s lives.”

Just before Petra died, Rebecca had entered the Rob Burrow Leeds Marathon. She quickly realised that it would be the perfect way to remember Petra and honour her life: “I realised that Petra is my ‘why’” said Rebecca.

I realised that Petra is my ‘why’

Given Petra loved her sport so much Rebecca decided to fundraise for our charity Women in Sport. Running for Petra has kept Rebecca motivated during her long training runs, during which she has been wearing a small daffodil pin that was given to those who attended Petra’s funeral. She will be wearing the pin on the day of the marathon, “I have my little badge, so Petra will be with me.”

Training for her first ever marathon has been tough, says Rebecca. She is a regular Parkrunner, but admits marathons are a massive step up: “I go through peaks and troughs and feeling like an imposter, but I’m not putting pressure on myself by aiming for a particular time.”

When we ask Rebecca what Petra would think of her friend running the marathon, she laughed: “Oh she would think I’m absolutely nuts. She’d be there at the start or finish, trying to hand me a lager and a load of jelly babies. I would definitely hear her. She would be shouting the loudest.”

We are deeply honoured and moved that Rebecca is participating in the Rob Burrow Leeds Marathon for Women in Sport in memory of her friend, Petra Nerys Morgan.

It is Rebecca’s first marathon, and after months and months of training, she is ready to take on the challenge and spend the day celebrating Petra’s life.

If you would like to contribute to Rebecca’s fundraising target in memory of Petra, please visit her JustGiving page.

Support Rebecca Here