County Durham mother makes Kielder Marathon her post surgery goal

Simone Price

21 February 2017

Three years after a brain operation that saved her from possible paralysis, determined County Durham mother Simone Price is preparing to take on her first marathon.

Keen runner Simone Price, from West Auckland, will be one of three colleagues from the Tyne Rivers Trust taking part in the Active Northumberland Kielder Marathon 2017.

The mum of two fell ill in 2013 and was diagnosed with the rare Arnold Chiari malformation, where the lower part of the brain presses against the spinal chord. Symptoms included pressure headaches, tinnitus and speech difficulties and could have left her paralysed.

But, following decompression surgery in 2014, she joined the Evenwood Road Runners in 2015 and has gone from struggling to walk to having twice tackled the Active Northumberland Kielder Half Marathon. Now she is training for the grueling 26-mile Kielder Marathon route, circumnavigating Kielder Water in Northumberland.

Simone is a Volunteer Co-ordinator at Tyne Rivers Trust and will be joined on the marathon by Project Manager Jack Bloomer and Operations Director Douglas Phillips. They will raise funds for the Trust through their efforts.

Simone said: “I was training for the Great North Run when I fell ill. So I was encouraged when I was struggling with my balance, immediately after the surgery, to get back into running and set myself challenges. I’m okay now, but appreciate life more than ever before, knowing I could have lost so much.

“I’ve done the Active Northumberland Kielder Half Marathon twice and have some more half marathons lined up as training, but I am really looking forward to the Kielder Marathon with Douglas and Jack.

“Jack is a keen runner, but it’s been some time since Douglas did any running, so we all have our challenges and goals that we are looking to conquer.

“I see first-hand what a fantastic charity the Trust is and we wouldn’t be able to do all the great work we do without volunteers and funding, so we really want this marathon to help us make a difference.”

The Active Northumberland Kielder Marathon takes place on Sunday, October 8, as part of an exciting weekend of races on the banks of Kielder Water.

The weekend is run by Events of the North, a company led by Olympians Steve Cram and Allison Curbishley, in conjunction with Northumbrian Water, Active Northumberland, and Northumberland County Council.

Race Director Steve Cram said: “The Active Northumberland Kielder Marathon always attracts a wide range of runners, each with their own motivation and often providing incredible inspiration to others. Simone is a prime example of someone who is showing the power of running and her journey from surgery to the Kielder Marathon is mind blowing. For anyone to run a marathon is a significant achievement, so all of the team from the Tyne Rivers Trust deserve praise and support, but I am sure we will all be keeping an eye out for Simone crossing the finish line on October 8th.”

David Hall, Head of Leisure Strategy at Northumbrian Water, said: “Simone’s story is a fantastic example of the incredible people who come to Kielder Water every year for the Active Northumberland Kielder Marathon. On its own, the Sporting Weekend is a superb occasion set in the most beautiful of locations, but what makes it truly outstanding are the people like Simone and the way they inspire all around them.”

Councillor Val Tyler, Northumberland County Council’s cabinet member for arts, leisure and culture, said: “Simone has shown incredible strength and determination, and it is a fantastic achievement for her to be taking on the challenge of the Active Northumberland Kielder Marathon.

“We wish Simone and her colleagues the very best of luck, and we’re sure that everyone who comes along to support this fabulous sporting event will be cheering as they cross the finish line.”
Anyone who wants to support Simone and her colleagues can donate through Virgin Money Giving on the Tyne Rivers Trust 2017 campaign page http://tyneriverstrust.org/support-us/donate/.

For further media information, telephone 0191 3015678.

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