Kent pensioner with new hip to attempt Great North Run

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  • By Christian Fuller & PA Media
  • BBC News

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Caroline Quibell is taking part in the half marathon for the fourth time

A woman who recently had a hip replacement surgery will attempt the Great North Run in memory of her late husband.

Caroline Quibell, from Tunbridge Wells, Kent, will take on the half marathon on Sunday in honour of Michael, who died in October, aged 81, after having motor neurone disease for seven years.

The 83-year-old will be running alongside her eldest son, Toby, 56.

“I’m nervous. I just hope that I can make the distance,” she said.

Mrs Quibell, a grandmother of 12, was the primary carer for her husband after he became “very disabled” with the disease.

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Michael and Caroline Quibell were married for 56 years

She has taken part in the Great North Run, which covers the 13.1 miles from Newcastle to South Shields, three times before.

The last time, in 2018, saw Michael cheering her on, but a combination of Covid restrictions and providing care for her late husband prevented her from taking part since, she said.

“Two weeks after Michael died, I was walking my dog and another dog knocked me over and I broke my hip,” she said.

“I went from the hospital in a wheelchair to the crematorium – it was horrid.

“Everything’s been emotional but my family have been there for me all the time.”

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Caroline Quibell has been training alongside her Irish water spaniel Streak

The retired children’s nurse has been training alongside Streak, her two-year-old Irish water spaniel, which her family encouraged her to get in her husband’s final days.

“The children persuaded me to have a dog, which I’m glad I did, because he is now my best friend,” she said.

“I run with him for an hour every day.”

Mrs Quibell and her son are fundraising for the My Name’5 Doddie Foundation, a charity funding research into effective treatments for motor neurone disease.

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