THE partner of a young ecologist who died of cancer will run the London marathon to raise funds for her favourite charity.

Dr Alastair Smith, who lived with his late girlfriend Dr Emily Goodman, 29, in Phillip Street, Hoole, is running with his brother Gary in aid of Save the Rhino.

Ally explained Emily was enthralled to have seen rhinos first hand on a trip to Nepal where he joined her during part of the adventure for a trek to Everest base camp.

He said: “Emily went to Nepal for two months, where she saw the one-horned rhino rather than the famed two-horn variety found in Africa.”

And he will be following in Emily’s footsteps next month because she herself ran the London marathon for Save the Rhino in 2009 and raised £800.

This was doubled to £1,600 by the Tattenhall-based environmental consultancy AMEC where she worked.

“Emily said to me she would find it hard to raise money for a human charity and felt it was more appropriate to raise money for wildlife,” added Ally, a chemist for Shell Research at Thornton.

In the past Emily had volunteered for Chester Zoo-based company Record, which collates wildlife data, allowing her to see rhinos every day.

Ally, 29, who has just resumed training after a skiing accident, said more than £2,000 had been raised from family, friends and colleagues but he and his brother want to add to the total.

Emily lost her battle with pancreatic cancer at the Hospice of the Good Shepherd last September.

Aside from her love of nature, Emily was a talented musician who played the flute and saxophone.

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