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First-time runners take on half marathon in memory of close friend

A group of friends are taking on their first half marathon in memory of a close friend who sadly passed away last year.

Caeri Roberts, Steve Roberts, Kate Wilkinson, Ffion Bramhall and Sally Smith have only been running since April last year, and are taking on a charity challenge in memory of their friend.

The first-time runners are tackling the Chester Half Marathon this month, in memory of Mike Hartshorne, who passed away in November 2016.

The group of friends will be running the race in aid of Wales Air Ambulance, after the Welsh helicopter charity flew to Mike’s aid.

Caeri Roberts said: “Mike had a heart attack at age 43 and sadly didn’t make it, leaving behind his partner Sharon, and four children, Kaden, Louis, Erin and Keira.

“We are running Chester Half Marathon for WAA in May, trying to raise the funds to pay for a mission.

“We decided to run in aid of Wales Air Ambulance, as they worked hard to try and save our close friend, Mike.”

Each of Wales Air Ambulance’s missions cost around £1,500, and every year the charity needs to raise £6.5 million to fund its operations across Wales.

Lynne Garlick, WAA Fundraising Manager, said: “We are touched that Caeri, Steve, Kate, Ffion and Sally would think to fundraise for us in Mike’s memory.

“They are taking on a huge challenge in Mike’s memory and in aid of Wales Air Ambulance, running their first ever race.

“They have been training hard since April last year in preparation, and every mile they run on the day will help to keep our helicopters flying.

“We would like to say a huge thank you to them, as their support will help to fund our missions, as we rely on kind donations to fund our operations across Wales.”

The friends will set off from the starting line in the race on May 21, running through the historic city to raise donations in memory of Mike.

The 13.1-mile race will take them on a route through the city as well as the rural countryside, finishing the race outside the city’s Cathedral.

Caeri said: “We are all nervous for the race, but we are determined to finish for Sharon and the kids, and Mike.”

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