THE Great North Run was ‘diverted’ to Bury St Edmunds on Sunday, allowing a runner to stay close to his dying mother.
Jayne Worley, a mother-of-two from Rougham, was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in October last year.
“I felt like I’d been hit with a hammer, I was in total shock,” said the 52-year-old.
Her son Aaron, 23, and girlfriend Gemma Cracknell, 22, decided to enter the Great North Run, along with Gemma’s mother Issy and sister Rachel.
But when Jayne’s health deteriorated last weekend, Aaron and Gemma began plotting an alternative route through their home villages.
Starting in Norton, they passed through Tostock, Beyton, Hessett, Rougham and Rushbrooke, which were lined with supporters, finishing at West Suffolk Hospital, in Bury, where Jayne was being cared for this week.
Hospital staff set up a finishing line in the car park and moved Jayne’s bed to a window so she could witness the couple’s final strides, alongside husband Graham, whom she met as a Thurston Upper School pupil, aged 14.
She said: “I feel very emotional and very proud of them, and the fact that they did it here was that much more special.”
Aaron said: “Mum’s illness took a turn and we were told it would be foolish to take two days off to go to Newcastle, but we still wanted to honour everyone who’d supported us.”
He added: “I’d never done long-distance running before but I thought if mum can spend a year with this, why can’t I run 13 miles?”
Their efforts have raised £4,800 for the Pancreatic Cancer Research Fund.
To donate to the runners, go to www.justgiving.com/aaron-worley