Snettisham family to run in memory of father

Mandy Graves with her sons (L) Michael (13) and Luke (10) are taking part in this years' GEAR. Pictu

Mandy Graves with her sons (L) Michael (13) and Luke (10) are taking part in this years' GEAR. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: IAN BURT

A West Norfolk mum-of-two will be pounding the streets to take part in the Grand East Anglia Run (GEAR) in memory of her late husband.

On Sunday, May 5, Mandy Graves, from Goose Green Road, Snettisham, will be taking part in the annual 10km race in the centre of King's Lynn, along with her sons in aid of the charity, Do it for Kev, which she started in honour of her husband Kevin. College of West Anglia lecturer Mr Graves was diagnosed with oesophageal cancer in January 2012 and died later that year, aged 47, in November.

Before his death he completed his dream of cycling the Alpe de Huez, one of the toughest sections of the Tour de France, and raising more than £2,000 for charity.

It is this determination to achieve which has inspired Mrs Graves and 100 friends and family to take part in the GEAR events.

'Kevin raised a lot of money for charity before he passed away in November and I've decided to continue that,' said Mrs Graves.

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'We set up the charity for three reasons; firstly to continue raising funds in Kevin's name, secondly to help raise awareness of oesophageal cancer, which is the sixth biggest cancer killer in the UK, and thirdly Kevin was awarded a KLFM sports inspiration award so we want to inspire others like he did.

'The idea really sparked out of nothing. I wanted to do something and I spoke to my friend Jo so we thought we'd get our families together, get some T-shirts printed and do the GEAR. A lot of people wanted to join us for the GEAR which is brilliant – it really helps. Kev ran it every year up to when he got ill. His best time was 41 minutes so I won't be beating that – I just want to beat the hour.'

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While Mrs Graves will be tackling the 10km course her sons Michael, 13, and Luke, 10, will be taking part in the GEAR Fun Run along with a number of friends and their football teams, Dersingham U13s and U10s.

'The boys have been absolutely brilliant. They understand the impact he had on people and the impact his death had and they want to inspire others too.'

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