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In her mother's memory: Why this Billingham runner is taking on the Simplyhealth Great Tees 10k

06 July 2018

A mother-of-four has inspired her family to take on the Simplyhealth Great Tees 10k in memory of her late mother.

Image of Andrea Conway

Andrea Conway, 39, of Billingham, is running in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support along with her younger sister and 15-year-old son.

She chose the charity in memory of her mother Ann Pugh, who died from cancer in 2009 aged 52.

And the event takes place on Saturday, September 8, which is also the day Andrea turns 40.

She explains more here...

What made you take on the Simplyhealth Great Tees 10k?

"Before I had my four children I was always keen on fitness and attended a local gym regularly. I then found it hard to go to the gym with parenting, work and my husband's shifts. I started to run after I had my fourth child, which literally consisted of running around the block.

"I then committed to 5k runs (Race for Life) as my mam was diagnosed with breast cancer. She received the five year all clear but unfortunately when I was pregnant with my now nine-year-old daughter, the cancer came back in her spine. This was devastating news for all the family.

"I ran the Race for Life in Darlington when I was nine weeks pregnant with my mam waiting for me at the finish line. My love for running has developed over the last nine years. I now regularly run 5k and wanted to get myself to a point of doing an official 10k race and thereafter running 10k regularly. I have been doing this once a week!"

How proud do you think your mother would be of you for taking on the challenge?

"I feel great about signing up for the race and thought it would be good to do it on my 40th birthday in memory of my mam. I saw the run advertised and booked my place as soon as I could. I then contacted my younger sister and asked her if she would like to run it with me. She agreed. My mam will be very proud of what we have achieved in regards to fitness, our work, marriages and the eight beautiful grandchildren she has between my brother, sister and myself."

Are you an active person anyway or have you decided to take this challenge on as a means of setting yourself a fitness goal?

"I am an active person but this year I have set myself some life goals. These are to lose one-and-a-half stone and get fit before I am 40, as well as changing jobs after 12 years with the same company. I have recently started with a new employer and I am 13lb lighter. I feel like I have had a new lease for life. I would love to do the Great North Run eventually and maybe a local triathlon but I haven't looked into this yet."

What do you think about the event launching in Stockton-on-Tees for the first time? Are you excited to be part of it?

"I think it's brilliant for the local area and I'm really looking forward to it. I am hoping that my 15-year-old-son is going to join me, although we return from a two week all-inclusive holiday in Turkey the day before the race!"

If you've been inspired by Andrea's story, and want to find out more about how you can sign-up for the run, visit the Great Run website. 

Picture: Andrea Conway (left) and her mother Ann Pugh