A mother from Rayleigh will take on her first half marathon in memory of her grandmother.  Deanne Jones, 43, will run the Southend Half Marathon on Sunday, June 10, to raise money for Havens Hospices in memory of her grandmother Alice Dent, who was cared for by the charity.

Alice Dent died in December 2016 at Fair Havens Hospice, after being diagnosed with breast cancer in 2015, which sadly spread to her lymph nodes.

She said: “This is my first half marathon and I will be running it on my own.

“I have been training three times a week with my two-year-old son, Henry, sitting patiently while I buggy run the miles with him.

“I’ve been training with a couple of buggy running friends Tracy Turner and Melanie Carrington, both of these ladies have been a fantastic support for me. 

“I turned 43 this year and decided to take on a new challenge.


“When I saw the half marathon was organised and in aid of Havens Hospices it seemed so fitting to run and raise money for the charity that made such a difference to not just Nan, but the rest of the family. 

“I know Nan would tell me I am mad to run such a long way, but she would be really proud of me. She was such a positive and beautiful person who never once complained about her illness. 

“I’m going to use my memory of her strength and incredible joyfulness to take me across that finish line. The people who work for Havens are truly amazing as it must be one of the most emotionally demanding jobs in the world. 

“This is my way of saying thank you to all of them and give something back to them so they can continue caring, supporting and making every day count for other families like mine across Essex for as long as then can.”

Runners can sign up until June 1 for £21 (affiliated runners) or £23 (wheelchair athletes and non-affiliated), by visiting www.havenshospices.org/southendhalf, or calling Jane on 01702 221658.

Runners can also sign up on the day, with a small additional charge.  To sponsor Deanne’s run, visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/mrs-deanne-jones.