Jess takes on "30 before 30" challenge in memory of her sister Alex

Jess Rees from Weston-Super-Mare has signed up to complete 30 epic runs before her 30th birthday. This year not only marks the year that Jess turns 30, it is also 10 years since Jess lost her beloved sister Alex to Leukeamia.

Jess takes on "30 before 30" challenge in memory of her sister Alex

Why do you support CLIC Sargent?

When my sister was diagnosed with Leukeamia, it came as a devastating shock to my whole family. I was only 15 at the time and studying for my GCSEs and my sister had just started her own family, with a six month old daughter. What helped was CLIC Sargent. They knew exactly how to help and gave my sister, as a young person, the support system she needed - and my whole family. When my sister relapsed 4 years into her remission, CLIC Sargent gave us a place to stay close to Southampton Hospital so that my mum and all of us could be close to Alex at the time she needed us all most. We will forever be indebted to the charity that did everything they could for us - and for free. That is why I am and whenever I can, supporting CLIC Sargent - to give back and help other families. My sister may have lost her life but there is hope for others with the support of CLIC Sargent to help more young people with cancer fight back.

What is the before 30 challenge?

I turn 30 this November, and 2018 also marks 10 years since we lost my beautiful sister Alex. When I lost my sister I made a promise to try and live my life fully and make the most of every day - and challenge myself! As I approach 30 I thought I wanted to do one last hurrah in my 20s for CLIC Sargent - and my thighs! So I started with a 10k. From there - and surprising myself by finishing - I decided to take it one step further - or 30, and sign up for 30 runs before I turn 30! From Dubai to Canada, Bristol to Wales, I've run 5ks, 10ks, half-marathons and I have a marathon and the Great South Run coming up! My final run is the Great South Run on 21st October - 10 years to the day that we lost my beautiful sister just down the road at Southampton Hospital. I thought there was no more fitting way to celebrate the life of my sister than running 10 miles in her memory while raising money for CLIC Sargent. I've done all of the runs within a 16 month time frame - so roughly one every two weeks - which has been a big commitment!

How's the challenge going?

Jess 30 before 30 challengeI'm no natural runner, but the cause and the challenge has got me over the finish line. I'll never be the first over the line, but I never give up! The atmosphere at every run has been so welcoming and positive and even if I've found the race hard, I've loved every minute. My favourite moment so far has been the Bristol 10k when I was wearing my CLIC Sargent running top and other runners came up to me who were also running for CLIC Sargent and shared their stories about why they were running. That meant everything.

Have you got any fundraising or training tips for other CLIC Sargent runners?

medals from running races Just keep going! Keep reminding people why they should sponsor you. Why CLIC Sargent matters and how their money will help. By repeating that, there's your motivation for your training right there.

Find out more

Join Jess and sign up for the Great South Run on 21st October 2018. For information on other runs and challenge events in your area follow this link or email sports@clicsargent.org.uk.

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