They say that life begins at 40 and for two Ponteland mums they are certainly taking it to heart by taking on 40 new challenges in their fortieth year – and top of their list is the Great North Run where they hope to raise £1,000 in support of Tynedale Hospice at Home.

Despite never having run any distance before Jessica Eyre-Tanner, who turns 40 in September, and Lucy Goldwater, who turns 40 a month later, are already throwing themselves into their training with gusto.

Lucy said: “I have never done anything like this before and my family and friends are pretty surprised that I’ve signed up.  I absolutely hated running when I was at school, but it’s such an iconic race and when I see everyone on the TV running you can see that they are having a brilliant time. It was definitely number one on my list of 40 things to achieve. I’ve just got to think of the other 39 things now!  I haven’t got a target time to complete it in, I just want to finish it.

“Everyone I know who has done it speaks about how supportive the crowd lining the roads are and how they spur you with their words of encouragement. I’m hoping that will get me through.”

Whilst it’s the first time Jessica will have run this race she’s already taken part in the Ponteland Wheelbarrow Race, and a 10k tough mudder and has begun attending a regular circuit training class which she hopes will stand her in good stead for the challenge ahead.

She first heard about Tynedale Hospice at Home because Hexham Middle School, where she is a teacher, support the charity through regular fundraising activities.

“Cathy from the Hospice has been to speak to the children about their fantastic work and the care and support they offer so when it came to choosing an organisation to support the Hospice was top of my list.

“It’s great to be supporting a charity which provides such valuable services in our local community.  Tynedale Hospice at Home makes such a positive difference to the lives of people that need its services, from the nursing care and hospital transport service, to the bereavement support they offer individuals and families. We are so lucky to have a charity which offers such a lifeline to people in times of need.

“I have to admit I am a little bit terrified but I know that it will be an incredible experience.  My main aim is to finish in once piece – it doesn’t matter where we come in the race, although I would like to think we won’t be the last to cross the finish line! Even if we did though it wouldn’t matter, the most important thing is to enjoy it and raise as much money as we can for the Hospice.”

Tynedale Hospice at Home provides palliative nursing care to people in their own homes, Family Support Services and a Hospital Transport Service to people living in Tynedale, West Northumberland, Ponteland and the surrounding areas.

Cathy Bates, community fundraiser at Tynedale Hospice at Home, said: “I can’t think of a better way to celebrate a milestone birthday than by running miles in the Great North Run – just as long as there’s some cake at the end of it!  We’re delighted to have Jess and Lucy running in support of us and we’re really grateful for their efforts. They will join another 23 runners taking part in this year’s run who are fundraising for us in a bid to raise £15,000 for Tynedale Hospice at Home. We wish them all the best in their training and can’t wait to cheer them along the way.”
Lucy and Jessica have set up a fundraising page.  To help them reach their target you can sponsor them at https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/4040