Finish line in sight for Jessica’s 30 by 30 running challenge

Jessica Rees in is running Sunday's Adsa Foundation Yorkshire Marathon as part of her charity challenge in memory of her sister. 

When 29-year-old Jessica Rees crosses the finish line of the Asda Foundation Yorkshire Marathon on Sunday she will be just one run away from completing a remarkable charity challenge.

The marketing and communications coordinator is aiming to complete 30 runs before she hits her 30th birthday next month.

Jessica began her 30 by 30 challenge last year and is running in memory of her sister, Alex, who died of leukaemia 10 years ago.

The money raised by the challenge will go to CLIC Sargent, which helped Jessica’s family during Alex’s illness.

Jessica, who lives in Weston Super Mare, said: “I chose the Yorkshire Marathon as two of my runs I wanted to do where my parents are from, so I did a half-marathon in Wales for dad and the Yorkshire Marathon for my mum who is Yorkshire born and bred.

“When I lost my sister I made a promise to try and live my life fully and make the most of every day - and challenge myself. As I approach 30 I thought I wanted to do one last hurrah in my 20s for CLIC Sargent - and my thighs!

“So I started with a 10k. From there - and surprising myself by finishing - I decided to take it one step further - or 30, and sign up for 30 runs before I turn 30. From Dubai to Canada, Bristol to Wales, I've run 5ks, 10ks and half-marathons.”

The challenge culminates with the Great South Run on October 21 – 10 years to the day that Alex died.

“I thought there was no more fitting way to celebrate the life of my sister than running 10 miles in her memory while raising money for CLIC Sargent. I've done all of the runs within a 16 month time frame - so roughly one every two weeks - which has been a big commitment.

“I'm no natural runner, but the cause and the challenge has got me over the finish line. I'll never be the first over the line, but I never give up. The atmosphere at every run has been so welcoming and positive and even if I've found the race hard, I've loved every minute.

“My favourite moment so far has been the Bristol 10k when I was wearing my CLIC Sargent running top and other runners came up to me who were also running for CLIC Sargent and shared their stories about why they were running. That meant everything.”

Jessica’s fundraising can be supported at www.justgiving.com/jessdoes30before30.

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