Crowborough runner takes on London event

Jo Pavey (centre) and Alexa Irving (far left.)
Jo Pavey (centre) and Alexa Irving (far left.)

A Crowborough woman has joined forces with gold medalist Jo Pavey to encourage people to conquer the cold by taking part in the Cancer Research UK London Winter Run.

Alexa Irving, 48, of Millbrook Road, was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2009. Fortunately she responded well to chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatment at the Royal Marsden Hospital in Sutton and is now back to full health.

To celebrate her recovery Alexa signed up to take part in the Cancer Research UK London Winter Run on February 1. And in order to give her training a kick start she teamed up with European 10,000m champion Jo Pavey for a practice run through the streets of London.

Alexa, a receptionist at the Saxonbury House Surgery, said: “I was fit and healthy before cancer and strive to be as fit as I was then. It’s much harder now but I want to prove to myself that cancer has not beaten me and that I can do this. I also want to run for three friends I lost to breast cancer, most recently in January this year. I’m looking forward to running with all the people around the sights of London. I love London and the buzz it has. I imagine there will be a brilliant atmosphere and it will be good to know I’m helping to raise funds for lifesaving research. I am dreading the cold but I hope the excitement will keep me warm!”

Jo, 41, inspired a generation of runners by picking up gold in the 10,000m in Zurich this summer, just ten months after giving birth to her second child. She is the second fastest UK woman to have run 10k, with a time of 30:53.

Alexa, married to Andy, said: “It was great to meet Jo and a real privilege to go on a run with her. Hopefully it will stand me in good stead for the day.”

Jo said: “I’m looking forward to being part of the first Cancer Research UK London Winter Run. London holds a special place in my heart, both for the Marathon and 2012 Olympics, so I’m happy to support an event that will see 15,000 running through the streets taking in the best sights London has to offer. The run is especially important to me as it’s supporting such a great cause. I’d ask everyone taking part to make a special effort to raise money for research into the causes, treatment and prevention of cancer.”