Great North Run 2013: Saffron Walden woman puts ‘heart and sole’ into helping charity

Karina Bailey-Watson

Karina Bailey-Watson - Credit: Archant

A SAFFRON Walden woman whose mum and aunt both died of heart disease is about to take on a big challenge to raise vital funds for the British Heart Foundation (BHF).

Karina Bailey-Watson, 46, who has lived in Saffron Walden all her life, will be donning her official BHF Heart Runners vest and running the Great North Run in Gateshead on Sunday, September 15.

The 46-year-old hailed her mum, Thelma ‘Bobbie’ Bailey, and aunt, Angela Howe, as her inspiration for taking part in the iconic half-marathon.

She said: “I decided to take part because even though I’m not really a runner, I’m a hockey player, I do like a challenge.

“I also wanted to lose a bit of weight, get fitter and give something back to a charity close to my heart. So I’m running in ‘the world’s biggest and most iconic half-marathon’, for the British Heart Foundation in memory of my dear mum and aunt who I lost after long, brave battles with heart disease.

“They are my inspiration to put in the hundreds of miles of training and run the 13 miles to cross that finish line – hopefully in time for the Red Arrows display. Other family and friends, young and old, have been affected by heart disease and I’d like to help the BHF in its fight against it.”

Karina, who works part-time for Duxford Aviation Society at The Imperial War Museum Duxford, is hoping to raise as much money as possible, and has pledged at least £500 to help the charity beat heart and circulatory disease – the UK’s biggest killer.

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To raise money and awareness, Karina will be collecting outside Boots in Saffron Walden market square tomorrow (Friday).

She also has a Just Giving website page for people who may like to make a contribution – visit

“I would like to thank everyone who has sponsored me, including the staff and customers of Riccio Hair Design in town who have been donating to a collection box in the salon,” added Katrina.

Nancy Prior, head of events at the British Heart Foundation, said: “Thanks to Karina for joining the British Heart Foundation’s Heart Runners team – with support like this we really can beat heart disease together.

“Far too many people die prematurely from heart disease and, for those that survive, life can be frightening and hard. All funds raised by the Heart Runners team will help ensure the BHF can continue to save thousands of lives through its groundbreaking research and innovative prevention and care work.”

For more information about taking part in a BHF event, visit