Runners dress in purple to remember 'inspirational' volunteer and former headmistress
PUBLISHED: 16:08 08 December 2018 | UPDATED: 16:26 08 December 2018
More than 250 runners, friends and family dressed in purple in memory of a former headmistress and parkrun volunteer described as "an inspiration".
Runners from across Thetford paid tribute to Des Talbot , who died of cancer aged 68 on Thursday, November 28, by wearing the colour purple, a nod to the early days of the parkrun, at the poignant event at Thetford Priory on Saturday.
Mrs Talbot, who was headmistress at Queensway School for more than a decade from 1992, ran the parkrun more than 170 times and volunteered at the weekly event more than 50 times since she started running in 2013.
Despite battling cancer, Mrs Talbot - an avid runner - successfully completed the London Marathon in April this year despite undergoing radiotherapy at the time.
Her husband, Allan Talbot, described his wife as “phenomenal” and “inspirational”.
He said: “I could never keep up with her. If ever we were playing tennis when we were younger I never once beat her.
“If ever I was thinking I am going to do it this time, she would always pull something out and still win.”
He added: “Des was a lady who just got everybody going. She was an inspiration, she was phenomenal. She could inspire people to do what she was doing and she would encourage them all the way.
“She was a headmistress for 10 or 12 years and she was well loved at Queensway.”
Melanie Sturman, a close friend of Mrs Talbot and a fellow parkrun director, read a moving poem before the start of the run and said Des was “always smiling”.
She said: “She meant a lot to people because she was always smiling, always encouraging, always lively and she was highly thought of as you can see by the attendance today.
“She was always there when people were having bad times, she was there for me and others, she would also party hard and be up to antics.
“I think I would like to look at having an annual remembrance parkrun for somebody who has done so much for other people in the parkrun community.”
She is survived by her husband, Allan, her son Mark and daughter Sasha, and her grandchildren Madison and Caden.
The funeral service will take place at St Cuthbert’s Church in Thetford on Wednesday, December 19. Bright colours should be worn and family flowers only but donations can be made to Cancer Research UK through the funeral director, Mark Skinner Funeral Service.