Joy as long distance dementia runner completes emotional marathon round Cheshire – Chester and District Standard

Joy as long distance dementia runner completes emotional marathon round Cheshire  Chester and District Standard

CHEERS and cries of joy greeted a long distance runner as she reached the emotional finish of a special marathon.

Energetic Jo Molyneaux had set her heart on running the 35-mile ultramarathon on the island of Tiree in the Inner Hebrides.

However, the Northwich gran had to pull out of the event after being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease last year, aged just 60.

Long distance runner Jo Molyneaux training for the Sahara Desert marathon

The mum-of-two, from Kingsmead, has completed countless extreme events and isn’t ready yet to hang up her running shoes.

Fortunately, Hayley White, a personal trainer and medical exercise specialist, stepped in to make her dream come true.

Jo is full of energy and loves running

Hayley, from Davenham, said: “I trained Jo for a polar expedition 18 years ago and our relationship built from then.

“My father-in-law has just been diagnosed with dementia and Alzheimer’s so this struck a chord with me.

Personal trainer Hayley White who ran in front of Jo Molyneaux every step of the way

“I was devastated for Jo and said I’d run with her.”

Hayley devised a 35-mile course through Whatcroft, Davenham, Toft, Knutsford and Pickmere on Sunday, September 4, the day she had hoped to run in Scotland.

“I ran in front of Jo all the way,” said Hayley. “I knew the route off the top of my head and didn’t want her to worry about getting lost.

Jo and Hayley are greeted by family and friends at the end of the marathon

“Jo had a laugh and a really good time.

“When I saw her at the end I realised how much it meant for her to be able to do it.

“I feel privileged to have made it possible.”

Jo Molyneaux enjoys a much deserved ice cream at the end of her 35 mile marathon

Jo and Hayley have both completed the Marathon des Sables, six marathons in six days across the Sahara Desert and a gruelling Arctic marathon.

Hayley, a personal trainer for 18 years,  is now keen to help more runners fulfil their goals.

“I have always wanted to run with someone who is blind and help other people who need some support,” she said.

Jo greeted by cheers and clapping on the final leg of her marathon round Cheshire

“People often think they can’t do things, but with a bit of understanding, knowledge and commitment, they can.”

Family and friends turned out to welcome Jo home as she finished her marathon at Marbury Country Park.

Jo’s son, Matt, 37, said: “I am incredibly proud of what my mother has achieved.

“Hopefully it inspired other people in a similar position and shows them there is still plenty they can do.

Jo has completed countless extreme events as well as multiple Ironman trathlons

“It’s a great personal achievement and wonderful fundraising effort.”

Jo has raised £2,400 for the Alzheimer’s Society.

To donate visit

Anyone wishing to run with Hayley can contact her on Facebook at .