5K charity run for Jarrow mum

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The death of her brother from heart disease prompted Jarrow woman Iona Marshall to change her lifestyle and inspire her children to do the same.

Iona, 39, is taking part in the SUBWAY Helping Hearts™ Family 5K on September 6 at Town Moor Park, Newcastle with her two youngest children to help raise money for national charity Heart Research UK and support their work in the prevention, treatment and cure of heart disease.

Heart disease runs in Iona’s family as her father, Thomas McEwan, suffered from angina from the age of 18 and suffered seven heart attacks, due to a poor diet and lifestyle that included smoking. He died in 2002 from cancer aged 76.

Her brother, Tommy Mackie, was also unaware that he had heart problems until he suffered a stroke in 2008 and it was also discovered he had blocked arteries. Unfortunately he died a year later a week before his 50th birthday from heart failure.

Commenting on her experience Iona said: “I was utterly devastated by my brother’s passing and vowed right then that I would change my lifestyle, and my family’s lifestyle, as I needed to break the pattern for my own children’s sake.

“I try to inspire my children to live a full and active life that they can be proud of, and I know my dad and brother would be very proud too.”

Iona is a full time mother as well as carer for her husband Nathan, who suffers from epilepsy, but he will be joining his wife in the 5K event along with children Cameron, nine, and Skye, six.

“We try to encourage the whole family to be as active as possible in their own way – including Cameron and Skye coming running with me - and I thought the 5K would be a fun thing to do.” Iona said.

This is the second year the SUBWAY Helping Hearts™ Family 5K has taken place in Newcastle and is the tenth of 12 events in the 2015 series taking place across the UK. In what is an exciting new twist for this year, the 5K event will see families challenged to take on the ‘field of fresh’ for the final 500m!

Inspired by the SUBWAY® menu the giant inflatable course has been designed to appeal to kids (and big kids) as they make their way to the finish line. For the less adventurous there’s still the choice of the traditional route because ultimately however you make it, every 5K counts!

Open to all ages and abilities, the events will once again be helping to raise money for national heart charity Heart Research UK. Every penny of sponsorship money raised goes directly back into the local community to help fund the Heart Research UK and SUBWAY® Healthy Heart grant scheme; an initiative that provides funding, of up to £10,000, to new and innovative projects that actively promote Heart Health.

To prove it’s the perfect day out for the whole family to enjoy, not only will there be lots of free, fun activities on the day, but everyone who takes part will also receive:

· A FREE T-Shirt

· A FREE SUBWAY® lunch

· A FREE Goody Bag

Children under 12 go FREE and it’s then just £6.99 per person for the rest of the family when they register online. Go to 5ksubway.com for race information and to register.

Roger Cusa, Head of Marketing for the SUBWAY® brand in the UK and Ireland said about the series return “I am delighted that the SUBWAY Helping Hearts™ Family 5K series is back, bigger and better than ever for 2015. As a brand we remain committed to encouraging families to get active together and the family 5K events provide the perfect opportunity for them to do so. I hope the experiences of everyone who took part in the events last year will encourage even more people to sign up this year and show their support for heart healthy causes in their local area.”

Barbara Harpham, National Director of Heart Research UK said: “We are thrilled to be working with the SUBWAY® brand once again to encourage heart healthy lifestyles for the whole family. It’s the second year we have put on a 5K event in the North East, and the local community have been more than generous with their donations. All the sponsorship money raised will fund worthwhile projects that promote heart health in the region.”