GRAHAM Turner will run the Blenheim Palace Half Marathon to show his gratitude to the medical staff who saved his daughter’s life when she was a baby.

Mr Turner, 64, will be running in the event on October 7 for the second consecutive year.

The race raises money for the British Heart Foundation’s continuing research into heart disease and is expected to attract hundreds of competitors, with its half marathon, 10k, 2k family race and corporate relay.

Mr Turner, who is a television technology consultant, said: “Our daughter Catherine was born with an undiagnosed heart condition, which made her heart sound like a washing machine and would routinely turn her skin almost black.

“It was very distressing for my wife Marion and myself, but when she was 15 months old she was visited at Swindon’s Princess Margaret Hospital by a paediatric heart specialist from Oxford’s John Radcliffe Hospital .”

He diagnosed the heart defect pulmonary stenosis, which means the valve that lets blood flow from the heart to the lungs is narrowed.

Mr Turner added: “Catherine was taken to the then Harefield Hospital in London, and underwent a four-hour operation to correct the defective valve. But within days she was walking around the wards and she has gone on to become a very fit woman.”

Catherine, who is now 31 and works as a manager at a London University, said that but for joint problems she would be running the half marathon with her father.

Hannah Townsend, British Heart Foundation regional events organiser, said: “We’re grateful to Graham and all the other people that have signed up to take part, because without them we wouldn’t be able to continue our life- saving and life-changing work.

“I’m asking the people of Oxfordshire to support him with sponsorship or sign up to take part in the event themselves.”

  • Registration for the Blenheim Half Marathon costs £23 (over 17s only), and £17 for the 10k race (£5 for under 16s.) The family fun run costs £10 for adults and £5 for under 16s. To register for the event or to find out more visit, call 0800 169 3672 or email To sponsor Graham visit: GrahamNTurner