A TORQUAY couple who were set to tackle the New York Marathon have their eyes on a new challenge after their fundraising hopes were dashed at the last minute.
Gail, 56, and Richard Burton, 62, from St Marychurch, were due to take on the run in memory of Gail's mum, Lilian Gethin, who died in March.
They were raising money for the Headcase charity which directs all funds into research for an incurable brain cancer called glioblastoma multiforme, which Lilian died from at the age of 80.
But their flight was cancelled on the Wednesday before the actual marathon due to superstorm Sandy.
Gail, who is a special education teacher, said fortunately because the flight was cancelled they had not lost too much money, but were still trying to see if they will be refunded the $700 for the entrants fees.
She said: "My biggest loss is for the charity I was running for because it was a cause close to my heart as mum died from it.
"We have been assured we will get a full refund for the cost of our flights and accommodation from the operators, but we are still waiting to hear from New York Road Runners on the entrants' fees, which was $350 each."
They are now hoping they will be able to take part in another marathon effort.
Gail said: "Fortunately Richard has already got a bonded place in the London Marathon, running for pancreatic cancer, and I am hoping to get a place with another charity which will mean all our training will not go to waste.
"We were a bit gutted to say the least especially with all the training but we hope we can both take part in London or Paris.
"It was fortunate the decision on New York was taken out of our hands with our flight being cancelled because we would have been obliged to go and you would not have wanted to run through all the chaos and devastation."
Sadly, Gail also lost her father last month, but had planned to remember them both at the New York event.