A SCHOOLGIRL will embark on her first Great North Run experience in memory of her dad.
Tiana Smedley was left distraught after her father Mark died suddenly of a heart attack at the age of 39 in November 2012.
The 11-year-old, of Cobbett Crescent, Biddick Hall, South Shields, had hoped to take part in the Junior Great North Run, last year, with best friend Emily Riley.
However, after her mum Amanda suffered a broken leg, leaving her wheelchair-bound, Tiana, being her carer, was unable to take part.
But tomorrow, both girls will take part in the 4km race along Newcastle Quayside to raise money for the British Heart Foundation in memory of Mark.
Amanda said: “After Mark died, Tiana wanted to do the Great North Run, but with me ending up in a wheelchair, it was just not possible, so this year, when she asked, we signed her up, along with her friend Emily, who has been a rock to Tiana since her dad died.
“It’s the first time the girls will have taken part in the run, and they are both really looking forward to it.”
The girls, both pupils at South Shields Community School, regularly take part in a monthly mile-long fun run held on South Shields seafront.
Mrs Smedley added: “Tiana has asthma, which forces her to take breaks when she does the monthly mile and Emily always stops with her, which is really nice.
“The run is further than what Tiana is used to, but knowing she will be with Emily, I know she will be ok.
“They really are good kids. It is going to be an emotional time for all of us, but they are really excited about taking part.”
The girls are hoping to raise £300 in sponsorship money between them.
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