If Melonie can’t go to the marathon, let the marathon come to her

Participants of the 'Melon' half marathon in Sudbury ANL-150930-133502001
Participants of the 'Melon' half marathon in Sudbury ANL-150930-133502001
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A woman who had her kidney removed after a tumour was found has spoken of the incredible spirit in Sudbury after her friends organised a special half marathon for her.

After being diagnosed with a tumour in her kidney in July, keen runner Melonie Evans from Canon Pugh Drive, Acton, was unable to take part in the Ealing half marathon which took place on Sunday.

In a show of unity, her fellow runners from Sudbury Joggers also pulled out of the race, bringing the excitement of a big race back to Sudbury.

Instead of running in the West London suburb, 50 runners from the club, as well as close family members, took on the challenge of the ‘Melon’ fun-run half marathon in Sudbury, organised by her friends.

Starting at the Valley Walk and finishing at Friars Meadow in Sudbury, the Joggers took in the sights of Sudbury, Long Melford and Bulmer, not only supporting their friend and fellow runner but also raising money for charity.

“It was totally overwhelming, I couldn’t do the race in Ealing so they decided to put on a half-marathon for me in Sudbury instead,” said Mrs Evans.

“Knowing they have done this for me is phenomenal. I can’t put it into words, it’s amazing.

“They wouldn’t let me help or do anything but I bought medals for all the runners.”

Kept a low key affair, open only to members of the Sudbury Joggers group and immediate family, Mrs Evans said the event showed what people in Sudbury could do for each other in times of need.

It was such a success she hopes it will take place again in future.

Last week the 45-year-old was given the all clear.

She said cancer has had a major impact on her family.

She lost both her dad and her nan to cancer and her sister is a cancer survivor. Her partner Michael Spurway also lost his dad to cancer.

It was decided then to use the special occasion to raise money for a charity close to her heart, with £1,600 raised for Cancer Research UK.

A raffle and cake sale was held with members of the public donating.

Mrs Evans said the support she had been given from her fellow runners since her diagnosis had been “incredible”.

“My boys have had such a hard time, as we all have,” she said. “The support we have had especially from the running club has been amazing. They have been there for me all the way.

“They haven’t done it for gratitude, it’s just the sort of people they are.

“They are my running family. They are such a special bunch of people.”

Organised by club members Sarah Pennock, Lisa Dalton, Dominic Turner and Mick Earle, Mrs Evans said it was “an amazing day”.

“Everybody loved it. We would love to do it again.”

The mother-of-three said that there was barely a dry eye when her son gave a speech after the race.

She added it was an extremely proud moment to see two of her sons completing the run.