Running together in a good cause

Katie Morley and Emma Johnstone, who are doing the Leigh 10k for Wigan and Leigh Hospice
Katie Morley and Emma Johnstone, who are doing the Leigh 10k for Wigan and Leigh Hospice

Two friends and fund-raisers will quite literally support each other every step of the way when they take part in the Leigh 10k.

Emma Johnstone and Katie Morley are doing the Leigh Community 10k to raise money for its partner charities Wigan and Leigh Hospice and Blossom’s Legacy.

Mum-of-four Katie has done several 10k events in the past and is now helping friend and work colleague Emma, from Hawkley Hall, get her running shoes on.

The pair have vowed to cross the finish line in Leigh together and help Emma raise money for the Hindley-based hospice in memory of her dad Joe Steele, who was cared for by the charity around 30 years ago.

Advanced nurse practitioner Emma, 36, said: “My dad went to the day hospice for a few years and my mum said the staff, and especially the matron, were wonderful. They even helped us to go on holiday to Blackpool together. I think my dad would be proud of me doing the Leigh 10K - he put me on a pedestal – and I don’t want to let him down.

“I also did eight weeks’ student nursing training at the hospice in 2002 and my husband’s granddad Robert Owen was in the hospice two years ago so I have personal connections to it.”

Practice nurse Katie, 35, encouraged Emma to kickstart her running when they began working together at Hillside Medical Centre in Skelmersdale and they have been training together ever since.

They finished the Wigan 5k together in 33 minutes and five seconds, raising £505 for the hospice, and then decided to do double the distance in Leigh.

Emma said: “This will be my first 10K so I am a bit nervous but we support each other. If I go home my husband and little boy Jayden will get all my attention but by doing our training together we are getting out there much more.

“And Katie enjoys the escape from her hectic life as a wife and mum to her boys Noah, Joel, Isaac and Aaron.

“I did the Couch to 5k exercise programme a few years ago. Back then I couldn’t run for eight seconds, but I got up to running four miles in 40 minutes. Then I got out of running for three years and always wanted to get back into it. I worked with Katie at Wigan A&E in the past and when we started to work together again she said I should get back into it by running with her around Skelmersdale after work. She also said we needed a goal so we signed up for the Wigan 5k.”

To find out more or sign up, visit www.leigh10k.co.uk