Nicola’S Great South Run In Memory Of Boyfriend

Great Comeback 1

To join Team KC on the start line of the Great South Run, or to enter the Great South Run 5k or the Junior and Mini Great South Run, visit: Greatrun.org/South

A woman whose partner tragically died when they were both taking part in a charity cycle will take on the Great South Run with a team of supporters after setting up a running group in his memory.

Nicola Tait, from Byfleet in Surrey, was left devastated when her boyfriend Kris Cook passed away during the Ride100 cycle in 2014, a charity bike ride that they were doing together in support of Woking Hospice.

Kris, who was just 36-years-old, had suffered from an undiagnosed heart condition, which caused him to collapse during the ride.

After his tragic passing, Nicola set up a running and cycling group in Kris' memory, which started through a Facebook group called Team KC.

Now just a year later, Team KC has over 160 members and has raised £27,000 for charities such as Cardiac Risk in the Young, that raises awareness about hidden heart conditions.

Nicola hopes to hit her target of £30,000 at this year's Great South Run, when ten runners from Team KC take on the world's leading 10 mile running event in Portsmouth on Sunday 23 October.

Nicola, 37, said: “Kris and I knew of each other as we lived in the same area. We had our first date in January 2014, it is so sad that we were only given eight months together.

“I got Kris into cycling and we both decided to sign up to another event and raise money for the local hospice.

“On that fateful day, I really had no idea what was going on. Chris cycled up in front of me as he was better at hills and when I got round the corner, he had collapsed and was receiving CPR.

“Even though I was watching it, I never thought I would never see him alive or never talk to him again, I thought he would come round and be fine.

“I was in complete shock for months, in denial. It took about a year for Kris' death to register in my head, which was quite scary.

“Team KC came about after the coroner recommended that all of Kris' family be investigated. Although they were OK, we thought we would never want anyone else to suffer like us.

“We decided to support Cardiac Risk in the Young and Woking Hospice, as I was passionate about giving something back to the people that helped me cope.”

Team KC offers people the chance to take on a challenge together. Nicola set up the Facebook page to let people know when she was going for a run and be joined by a group of eager team members that night.

She will take on her third Great South Run with a group of people who are experiencing the fast and flat course for the first time.

Nicola added: “I set up a Facebook page and got so much support, several other people would join me each time I went for a run or a cycle.

“The team now has 160 members and I have met some truly wonderful and caring individuals who have stood by myself and Kris' mum Sue.

“They have kept me going over the last two years, they have helped me get my life back.

“I can't wait to try and get my personal best at this year's Great South Run. I always have such a great experience there and so this time I really wanted the other members of the team to try it.

“We all have the passion and the energy to want to run in Kris' memory.”

The Great South Run starts and finishes in Southsea, overlooking the Solent and gives participants a unique opportunity to run through Portsmouth's Historic Dockyard, passing iconic landmarks such as HMS Victory, HMS Warrior and the Mary Rose Museum.

The weekend has become a festival of sport with the Great South Run 5k and the Junior and Mini Great South Run taking place the day before on Saturday 22 October.

To support Nicola, visit Team KC's fundraising page here.

To join Team KC on the start line of the Great South Run, or to enter the Great South Run 5k or the Junior and Mini Great South Run, visit: Greatrun.org/South