Popular Saffron Walden teacher’s wish came true

09:57 22 May 2014

Clare Thompson with Essex school’s champion, Friends’ pupil Hannah Irwin.

Clare Thompson with Essex school’s champion, Friends’ pupil Hannah Irwin.


When Hannah Irwin was still a junior school pupil her running teacher said she’d love to see her in an Essex running vest one day.

Hannah with popular teacher Sue Westgarth at the Westgarth Run in 2010.Hannah with popular teacher Sue Westgarth at the Westgarth Run in 2010.

Sue Westgarth, who was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease, died shortly after saying this, but her dream finally came true this year. As revealed in the Reporter Hannah, 15, now coached by sports coach Clare Thompson, represented Essex at the national cross country championships in Birmingham in March, and came a very creditable 34th out of a field of over 350 in the U17 age group.

She also represented Essex schools in the nationals at Donington Park, coming 33rd out of a field of 400 and was the first girl home for Essex. Clare described it as “an amazing achievement that Sue would have loved to have seen“.

On Sunday, June 8 the Friends’ School is hosting the second Westgarth Run in memory of the former teacher ... and Hannah is hoping to achieve another personal best.

There are still places left for both the 5k run and 1k fun run but the deadline for pre-registration is tomorrow (Friday). If places are available, registration is possible on the day but will cost £12 instead of £10 for the 5k.

Those who are unable to attend the event but would still like to support the cause can donate at justgiving.com/greatwestgarthrun2014

Entry forms are available from Saffron Walden Tourist Information Centre, Wilburs Gym, Saffron Sports or online at friends.org.uk/great-westgarth-run

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