Friends vow to 'Run2Gether' for Wigan and Leigh Hospice

08 May 2017

TWO friends and work colleagues have vowed to cross the finish line together after signing up for the first Leigh Community 10K.

Friends vow to 'Run2Gether' for Wigan and Leigh Hospice

Emma Johnstone, 36, from Hawkley Hall and Katie Morley, 35, from Skelmersdale are taking part to raise money for the run's partner charity, Wigan and Leigh Hospice, and Blossom's Legacy.

The pair are raising funds in memory of Emma's dad Joe Steele who was cared for by the hospice and passed away 30 years ago.

Emma, an Advanced Nurse Practitioner, said: "My dad went to the day hospice for a few years and my mum said the staff, and especially the matron, were wonderful. They even helped us to go on holiday to Blackpool together. I think my dad would be proud of me doing the Leigh 10K - he put me on a pedestal - and I don't want to let him down.
"I also did 8 weeks student nursing training at the Hospice in 2002 and my husband's granddad Robert Owen was in the hospice 2 years ago so I have personal connections to the hospice."

Although this will be Emma's first ever 10K race Practice Nurse Katie has completed several 10K races and half marathons. When both began working together at Hillside Medical Centre in Skelmersdale Katie encouraged Emma to kickstart her running and the pair have been training together ever since.

Emma said: "I did the 'Couch to 5K' exercise programme a few years ago - back then I couldn't run for 8 seconds! - but I got up to running 4 miles in 40 minutes. Then I got out of running for 3 years and always wanted to get back into it. I worked with Katie at Wigan A&E in the past and when we started to work together again she said I should get back into it by running with her around Skelmersdale after work. She also said we needed a goal so we signed up for the Wigan 5K in March."

Emma and Kate finished the Wigan 5K together in 33 minutes and 5 seconds and raised £505 for Wigan and Leigh Hospice. They then decided to sign up together for the Leigh Community 10K.

Emma continued: "This will be my first ever 10K so I am a bit nervous but we support each other. If I go home my husband and little boy Jayden will get all my attention but by doing our training together we are getting out there much more. And Katie enjoys the escape from her hectic life as a wife and mum to her 4 boys Noah, Joel, Isaac and Aaron."

Katie said: "We will stick together throughout the run and cross the finish line together and we'll continue to run together afterwards too. We're already thinking about signing up for the Chester Metric Marathon in October."

Maxine Armstrong, Fundraising and Lottery Manager, said: "It's fantastic that people like Emma who have never run 10K before are being inspired to take part and to raise funds for the hospice at the same time.
"People like Emma and Katie will help us to continue caring for local people with life-limiting illnesses and supporting those people important to our patients."

The Leigh Community 10K is encouraging participants to 'Run2Gether' with a partner so that they can support each other through training and the run itself while raising funds for the Hospice. There will be a prize awarded for the pair who are quickest to complete the run.

The Leigh Community 10K takes place on Sunday, August 13th, and takes in 3 laps of Leigh town centre. There will be live music and entertainment on the day with further details to be announced soon.

The event has been organised through a partnership between Inspiring healthy lifestyles, FCR Events Ltd., Leigh Harriers, Nectar Creative, Wigan and Leigh Hospice and Wigan Council, with support from Manchester Mayor and former Leigh MP, Andy Burnham.

Sign up for the Leigh Community 10K at www.leigh10k.co.uk. Entry fees will help to raise money for Wigan and Leigh Hospice.

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