Jessica’s marathon fundraiser will be in memory of her mum

Jessica Sanderson on her wedding day with her mum, Annie Alston. Picture: SUBMITTED

Jessica Sanderson on her wedding day with her mum, Annie Alston. Picture: SUBMITTED - Credit: Archant

Joy and tragedy struck Jessica Sanderson in the same week when she became a mum, and her own mother died of a heart attack.

As a busy new mum, also studying for a second degree, Mrs Sanderson, from Alby, near Aylsham, remembers passing into 'survival mode', with no time to grieve properly.

After a while, she started going for short runs to give her thinking space.

The runs got longer – and on April 24, her 30th birthday, Mrs Sanderson will line up with thousands of others to pound the 26-mile London Marathon route.

She is safely on course to meet her £1,750 target for Heart Research UK through her feat, having already raised more than £1,300.

'The more I can raise for the charity, the more hope there is that other people won't have to experience what I've been through,' she said.

A fundraising quiz and auction night will be held this Saturday, April 2, which Mrs Sanderson hopes people will support.

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Mrs Alston was 59 when she died, out-of-the-blue. 'She was really excited about becoming a granny,' said her daughter.

'It was a very difficult experience to go through, losing someone so close to me.

'And I was bringing my daughter, Penelope, home – it's the time when you most need your mum's support.'

Mrs Sanderson smashed her own personal best time by 19 minutes in the recent Cambridge Half Marathon, crossing the finish line in two hours 10 seconds.

She's now in the final stages of training for next month's event. 'It's a positive, healthy way to start my 30s,' she said. 'I want to encourage others to make the effort to get healthy too, even it you think it's too late – do your best to stick around for the people who care about you.'

Saturday's quiz evening, at Alby Crafts, at 7pm, will include a host of raffle prizes. Tickets cost £10 and include quiz and auction entry, hog roast and a glass of wine. To book tickets, email jessica-rose@live.com or call in at Alby Crafts tea rooms.

To sponsor Mrs Sanderson visit: www.justgiving.com/JessicaRoseMarathon

Have you got a London Marathon story to tell? Contact alex.hurrell@archant.co.uk

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