Southport woman Jackie Hilton watched her daughter run a half-marathon, it was a life-changing experience.

“I was in awe of her,” said Jackie, 57, from Brinklow Close. “I was unfit and overweight and took her as my inspiration.”

And now four years on, mother and daughter Anna Wignall will both run the London Marathon – something Jackie could once only dream of.

She said: “I worked with a great personal trainer whose approach is ‘never say you can’t’. I’ve found I enjoyed weight and circuit training. I also lost weight and inches.

“When I began running in December 2013 I could only manage a couple of minutes without getting tired, but now I chase my grandson around the garden without getting out of breath.

“In March 2014, I did my first half-marathon –  I was so elated!”

Jackie chose to run the London Marathon on April 24 in support of Bowel & Cancer Research because it’s a charity close to her heart.

Her mother and aunt both died of bowel cancer at a young age and Jackie has suffered years of problems associated with bowel disorders for more than 30 years.

In 2014 she had three operations in 10 days.

“There was an awful week or two when I developed sepsis and things were not good. We  didn’t expect me to come home. It was devastating, confusing and isolating.

“That illness has made me determined to do all those things I’ve put off doing, and to set new challenges and dreams.

“The London marathon has been a dream that I’ve wanted to do for a long time – I thought it was impossible. But my consultant, family, physiotherapist, personal trainer and running club have all encouraged me to keep going and helped get me to this point.

“I’ve set myself a challenge and will complete it.”

She and Anna, 32, from Kendal Way, Southport, have been training together with the running club they set up together, the Southport Coasters.

Anna, a primary school teacher, said: “Mum is just so determined – I’m dead proud of her.”  She hopes to finish in 4hrs 30mins on April 24  – an hour ahead of her mum – and will be the first to cheer Jackie across the finish line.

Chief Executive of Bowel & Cancer Research, Deborah Gilbert, thanked Jackie for her support.

She said: “We fund research to try and ensure that people like Jackie won’t have to suffer 30 years of bowel problems in future. The marathon will be a huge challenge for her and we’re enormously grateful.”

Anyone who wants to support Jackie and Anna can do so at


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