A GRANDMOTHER hopes to ease her arthritic pain by tackling a half-marathon for a good cause.
Lynda Dixon, 62, from Ferryhill, County Durham, has already begun training for the Great North Run in aid of the Great North Air Ambulance Service (GNAAS).
The retired secondary school teacher, who taught across the region for 34 years, said: “I was inspired by my daughter Emma to start running as I noticed a positive difference in her physically and mentally after she began to run.
“I downloaded the ‘Couch to 5k’ app to help me and since then I have managed to run the Hartlepool Race for Life 5K twice.
“Now I’m ready for a bigger challenge, I’ve been building on my distances gradually and I’m currently running 6K three times a week. I wear a Fitbit to help with my training, and my grandchildren send me messages of encouragement as they can view my progress.”
Mrs Dixon hopes that as well as fundraising for GNAAS she can test if the physical benefits of training can help her reach a personal goal.
She said: “Part of me wants to prove to myself that I can do this, but I also want to see if increased exercise will enable me to ditch the medication I take for rheumatoid arthritis by increasing bone density and joint strength.
“You’re never too old. I didn’t believe I could run, but now I feel that I am a runner. It’s great.”
Mrs Dixon has chosen to support GNAAS after an incident the charity attended in Appleby opened her eyes to the importance of their work.
She explained: “A couple of years ago, the air ambulance landed in a caravan park where I often stay, to assist a woman with heart problems. It was quite a remote location so they provided the immediate help that was required.
“Also, my five-year-old grandson suffers from croup and although his attacks are becoming less frequent, he could need the help of GNAAS at any time.”
Mrs Dixon continued: “They play a vital role and anyone, anywhere in the region may need them. They rely on the goodwill of people to raise the funds to keep them going.”