A TEACHER has hit the ground running at the start of a marathon fundraising mission.
Anji Rippon, of Hedworth Lane, Boldon Colliery, has vowed to raise as much money as possible for the Tiny Lives charity, which helped her family when her nephew was born prematurely.
The 31-year-old, a member of Tyne Bridge Harriers, was out of action for most of last year after breaking her heel but is now back in her stride and set to run the Edinburgh half-marathon and Great North Run this year.
She also organised a 10K fun run of her own earlier this month on the Newcastle and Gateshead quaysides, where her running club trains.
Dozens of people turned up and raised £900 for Tiny Lives, which supports premature and sick newborn babies and their families on the neo-natal unit at Newcastle’s Royal Victoria Infirmary.
Among those taking part was Hebburn fridge runner Tony Phoenix-Morrison.
Ms Rippon, who teaches at Gillas Lane Primary School in Houghton-le-Spring, said: “I have a coaching badge so I can be responsible for large groups of people running with me, so I thought I’d put it to good use.
“What started as a chat with a friend about getting some people to do a run around the quayside turned into about 60 people doing six miles.
“Quite a few different running clubs came along and everyone seemed to bring a friend.
“I have already got a JustGiving page and a lot of people came down and donated on the day. It was just massive.
“The next thing for me is the Edinburgh half-marathon on May 20. Hopefully I will be able to put another 10K on along the quayside because the first one was such a success. I didn’t expect it to be that good.”
n To find out more about Ms Rippon’s events, visit www.justgiving.com/AnjiRippon or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org