Grandmother from Northampton runs half marathon to help brain injury survivors

Northampton grandmother Sue Askham is competing in a half marathon to help brain injury survivors, despite only taking up long-distance running earlier this year.

Monday, 4th December 2017, 4:41 pm
Updated Tuesday, 12th December 2017, 2:21 am
Sue Askham

Sue, who has two children and nine grandchildren, is running The Milton Keynes Winter Half Marathon on December 10 on behalf of Headway Aylesbury Vale - even though she is currently hampered by an injured tendon in her right foot.

She decided to raise cash to help the charity in Fairford Leys, where her sister-in-law Karen Styles is manager.

Sue, a former pupil of Sir Henry Floyd Grammar School now living in Duston, Northampton, said: “I know Karen does sterling work there for people with Acquired Brain Injuries, and she is my super-hero.”

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She only took up running about a year ago to improve her fitness and ran her first long distance race, a 5k, in March. This was followed by a half marathon in October in Peterborough, which she completed in 2 hours 19 minutes.

"I am 60 next year and I wanted to do a half marathon before then, but it's now got out of hand because I will have done two this year and I haven’t even reached 60 yet!” she said.

Sue, is aiming to complete the 13.1-mile MK race in two-and-a-half hours because she believes the tendon injury will slow her down. It will be her tenth race this year.

Before she took up running recently, her only previous similar effort came in 2013 when she entered a Race For Life event in Milton Keynes. But disaster struck shortly before that race when she fell over and broke a hip.

But Sue’s determination still won through. “I did the race in a wheelchair four days after coming out of hospital,” she said.

Headway manager Karen said: “We are so grateful to Sue for doing this for us despite having the foot injury, and so full of admiration for her plucky spirit. I hope the public will back her as all donations will help survivors of Acquired Brain Injury.”

Headway currently provides its services two days a week, Mondays and Wednesdays, in modern, purpose-built premises behind the Co-op in Wedgewood Street, Fairford Leys. It offers therapy, information and social activities. In the Aylesbury Vale alone, there are some 1,500 survivors of Acquired Brain Injury which can happen to anyone of any age and can be caused by injury or an illness.