Karen Tackles Two Events In Memory Of Dad

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To enter the Simplyhealth Great North 10k, visit: Greatrun.org/North10k

A woman is set to run the Simplyhealth Great North 10k and the Simplyhealth Great North Run this year for the first time in memory of her father who died suddenly of heart disease.

Karen Williamson, from Gateshead, decided to set herself a running challenge after she lost her dad XX suddenly at Christmas.

XX had no diagnosis or signs of being ill and passed away suddenly as the family were due to attend a meal as part of the festive celebrations.

Following xx’s passing, they found out he had hypertensive heart disease and coronary artery atheroma, something which left them very shocked as he had shown no signs of this.

The sudden circumstances surrounding her dad’s death left Karen determined to raise awareness about the devastating impact of one of the UK’s biggest killers and so she decided to take on a challenge to fundraise for research into the condition.

Karen, 30, will run the 10k on Sunday 8 July as a training run for the world’s biggest half marathon, the Simplyhealth Great North Run later in September.

She decided to fundraise for the British Heart Foundation in his memory. She said: “My dad was an amazing person and a proud family man who would do anything for them. I couldn’t have asked for a better dad.

“I have amazing memories and he always supported us. He had no diagnosis or signs of illness and that night we had been planning to go for a family meal as part of the Christmas celebrations.

“This is what made his sudden death so hard to take for us all. We found out through the post-mortem that his passing was from heart disease and he would not have known anything about it.

“We were all completely shocked by this, the shock from it being so sudden is still there, as he had not been ill from what we knew.

“It’s hard that we had no time to say goodbye or to come to terms with it, but we also would not have wanted him to suffer in any way. It’s a very difficult feeling to put into words and process.

“We decided that we would be keen to raise awareness about heart disease and raise as much money as possible for vital research, so it can be recognised and diagnosed in patients before it is too late.

“We want to make sure that other families don’t have to face the shock and devastation that we did.”

Whatever their pace or motivation, thousands of runners will share the satisfaction of completing a 10k challenge as they take in the sights of the NewcastleGateshead Quayside at the Simplyhealth Great North 10k.

Participants then enter Gateshead International Stadium where their family and friends can gather to cheer them on as they experience their own finish line feeling.

The event is the sister event to the Simplyhealth Great North Run and every year hundreds of runners take on the 10k as part of their training for the half marathon.

Karen, who works as a compliance consultant, added: “My training could be going better but I have been making sure that I get out for runs when I can and I’ve also been swimming too.

“I am really hopeful that the training for this inspires me to sign up to more events to challenge myself in memory of my dad.”

To support Karen’s fundraising, visit: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/karenwilliamson-bhf

To enter the Simplyhealth Great North 10k, visit: Greatrun.org/North10k