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Charitable hero Jo runs 32 miles for The Christie

By Jo Taylor

My good friend Jo Cunningham has come up with the (mad) idea of completing many challenges throughout 2016 to raise money for The Christie hospital, where I am treated every 3 weeks for secondary breast cancer.

the christie

Jo Cunningham and Howard Chambers

A few weeks ago we completed a 20 mile marathon walk from Diggle to Didsbury, along with Jo Cunningham’s colleagues from Diggle Day Nursery. The next challenge she had set herself was an ultra 32 mile run.  Now, of course this is no mean feat.  Her running partner Howard Chambers, from Saddleworth running club, has been coaching Jo and has been a great friend of mine for many years.

Jo had never run further than a marathon and although she is fit and an excellent runner, she had some doubts that she’d be able to complete it.  We (all her friends) knew she could do it and that she’d smash it.  But of course, it’s a bit of mind over matter when running, especially on the hills.

Anyway, the big day arrived and they set off at 8am from Howarth, up (yes up!) the cobbled street and then out over the moors for a day of fell running.  We had no idea how she was getting on until we received a text saying “20 miles and feeling good” – which included the obligatory selfie with Howard!

Our friend Jane and myself were planning to meet Jo, so we had to get our skates on, if we were going to make it.  Traffic, diversions and Sunday drivers (even though it was Saturday – and yes, lots of swearing!) hindered our progress. We received another text from Jo saying “Just 4 miles to go!”

We, still had 8 miles to drive to get to Haworth (Slow down Jo!!!).  So, finally we arrived and the parking fairy was kind (thank you).  Fortunately, we were able to park outside the school, where the race was due to finish.

the christie

Jo Cunningham and friends

We met up with Bren, Jo’s husband who was waiting patiently.  Ten minutes later Jo came running in.  It was very emotional and a fantastic achievement.  They had just run 32 miles and both looked as ‘fresh-as-daisies’.  Jo had a beam across her face – which told me she had enjoyed the race. The official time was 6 hours 50 minutes.  What an achievement.

I personally want to say a huge thank you to Jo for this massive effort and she can now REALLY call herself an ULTRA distance runner.  She is just AMAZING ❤💙

If you wish to donate to Jo’s campaign for The Christie, then please visit www.justgiving.com/Joanne-Taylor41 where you will find details and also find a list of other events that will be going on throughout the year.

 

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