Harleston mum wants to ‘pay tribute’ in Great North Run challenge

Jennifer Clarke, of Harleston, is running the Great North Run in September. ANL-150817-095408001

Jennifer Clarke, of Harleston, is running the Great North Run in September. ANL-150817-095408001

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A Harleston mother says she is hoping to “pay tribute” to the many local people affected by cancer by taking part in a half marathon next month.

Jennifer Clarke will take to the start line of the Morrisons Great North Run on September 13, to complete a 13.1 mile half marathon from Newcastle Upon Tyne to South Shields. Funds raised will be donated to Macmillan Cancer Support.

Miss Clarke was initially challenged by friend and running partner Mark Mitchell to enter, but her desire to enter the marathon was confirmed when her mother, Christine, was diagnosed with cancer in January.

But for the Harleston resident, her preparation has been tougher than most.

The epidural during the pregnancy of her daughter, two-year-old Grace Dade, went wrong, leaving her with nerve damage in her hip.

“I’ve never been good at running so this was all a new experience to me,” she explained. “I couldn’t run to the end of the road let alone 13 miles.

“After my epidural went wrong I was left with nerve damage in my hip so I couldn’t raise my leg for several months after the birth of my daughter. Slowly I worked up from limping, walking and then slowly running.

“With this in mind I now don’t focus on how much I hate running but how lucky I am to be able to run.”

Miss Clarke she wanted to carry the names of those who had lost their lives to, or who were currently battling, the disease.

“For my race in September I would like to pay tribute to as many local people as I can who have lost loved ones to cancer or are battling cancer by having their names on my race shirt.

“I would be honoured to carry their names and memory across the line with me.”

To sponsor Jennifer’s marathon effort, visit her donation page at www.justgiving.com/Jennifer-Clarke8

To request to have a name printed on her marathon shirt, with a deadline of September 7, visit the Facebook page at www.facebook.com/Jennifersjustgiving