Schoolgirl's 5K seafront run in memory of nan

Isabella crosses the finish line

Isabella crosses the finish line - Credit: Julie King

An 11-year-old Exmouth girl has completed a 5K run in blistering heat in memory of her grandmother.

At 8am on Saturday, July 17, Lympstone Primary school girl Isabella King tightened up the laces on her trainers and set off from Exmouth quay on a 5K dash to Orcombe Point before turning back around to finish her run at The Pavilion.
 

Isabella and her aunty Karen brave the heat to run the 5K

Isabella and her aunty Karen brave the heat to run the 5K - Credit: Julie King

Isabella, who lives in Withycombe with mum Julie, dad Paul and siblings Jessica and Oliver, wanted to keep the memory alive of her Nanny Jean, who lost her battle with cancer in October 2018, and so she decided to raise some much-needed funds for Cancer Research UK.

Isabella said: “We’ve all had such a horrible year. I just wanted to do something to help someone else. I miss my nan so much and I really wanted to raise some money to help beat cancer!”

The pair dash to the finish line!

The pair dash to the finish line! - Credit: Julie King

The determined youngster, who will be starting Exmouth Community College in September, was joined on the day by her aunty Karen. Despite starting their challenge early in the morning, the pair endured temperatures in excess of 20℃. It took Isabella and her aunt 36 minutes to run the full 5K and they celebrated their triumph by cooling off with a dip in the sea. 

Cooling off in the sea was the best way to finish the 5K run

Cooling off in the sea was the best way to finish the 5K run - Credit: Julie King

Julie and Paul said: “We, as Isabella’s parents, are immensely proud of her achievements, more so with this one as it had no benefit to her. The amount of effort that went into her training was huge, it was three or four times a week. She also had the stresses of leaving primary school to deal with. She has always been a kind, thoughtful young girl and she put everything into this run.

“Isabella still misses her Nan and asked if she could raise some money to help Cancer Research. She went into the Exmouth Cancer Research shop and spoke to Darryl Hagley, the shop manager, who arranged for sponsorship forms and t-shirts, he also put a poster in the shop window to raise awareness of her run. Isabella then began training with her Nan Sonia at Exmouth Leisure Centre.”

Isabella with her Nanny Jean and grandad Fred, who sadly passed away shortly after Jean in 2018

Isabella with her Nanny Jean and grandad Fred, who sadly passed away shortly after Jean in 2018 - Credit: Julie King

Darryl said: “I was very pleased that we were able to support Isabella in her fundraising to beat cancer. It was a fantastic achievement especially for someone so young. Well done, we are very proud of you Isabella.”

Isabella and her aunty Karen brave the heat to run the 5K

Isabella and her aunty Karen brave the heat to run the 5K - Credit: Julie King


Isabella’s grandparents, Sonia and Tony Down, said: “We are very proud of Isabella as she has always been a kind and caring girl, and has shown such commitment to this run.”

The family would like to thank everyone who has sponsored Isabella’s run which has so far raised around £300 in memory of her nan. 
Isabella plans to hand over a cheque to Darryl at the charity shop on August 5.

The whole family from when Isabella's Nanny Jean was alive

The whole family from when Isabella's Nanny Jean was alive - Credit: Julie King


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