'Memory Miles': Pendleside Hospice fundraiser to dedicate each mile of London Marathon to a loved one

Jo Applegate (centre) with Pendleside Hospice Fundraiser Leah Hutchinson (left) and Lisa Pearson, Head of Income Generation.
Jo Applegate (centre) with Pendleside Hospice Fundraiser Leah Hutchinson (left) and Lisa Pearson, Head of Income Generation.
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Set for the run of her life, a Pendleside Hospice's fundraiser will tackle 26.2 miles for the first time ever at the London Marathon, dedicating each mile to someone who sadly died at the hospice.

Branded her 'Memory Miles' run, the event will see Jo Applegate, who lives in Barley, wear a special t-shirt with the names of people's loved ones and their corresponding miles as a tribute to their memories.

"I thought it'd be a really nice way to remember people who are sadly no longer with us in a unique way, because the London Marathon is iconic and they're going to be there as a part of it," said Jo (44). "I wanted to dedicate every mile to thinking about that one person, and I think it'll get me through it - remembering that these were real people with real families who were affected.

"There's an awful lot of people that have close people who they've lost in the hospice and not everyone is able to do something like a marathon, but they still want them to be remembered," Jo added with seven of the 26 miles already having been dedicated to people and 19 still available. "It quite personal for me as well."

Having only ever run two half-marathons before in her life (the Great North Run in September and the Manchester Half-Marathon in October), Jo has been training for the race since the start of January and following a strict training programme to get herself ready.

"The challenge is on," said Jo. "I'm excited because it's such a major thing and London is the main one but I'm a bit nervous because I've done a couple of halves and when I've finished I've though 'ooh, could I turn around and run back?' and the answer was no at that point!"

But despite the daunting distance stretching out in front of her, Jo is spurred on by the thought of doing something for those who have sadly lost their lives and their their families.

"People who don't know me have donated because they want to remember their own loved ones: it's quite humbling," she explained. "I'm going down to London a couple of days before and I think that will be quite momentous for me with my shirt with these 26 names of people I'm running for on the back.

"I'm doing it in their memory," she added.

People who want to have one of Jo's miles dedicated to one of their loved ones can do so by donating a minimum of £20 to her cause via the JustGiving page and by contacting Jo in the Fundraising team at the hospice. Any further donations to Jo's cause are more than welcome and can be made at https://www.justgiving.com/Jo90-Applegate