A fitness enthusiast from Wolverhampton is tackling 13 half marathons in 13 months in memory of a childhood friend who passed away from leukaemia.
Kleo Gordon, aged 26, is raising money for Cure Leukaemia in memory of Jade Yates, who passed away from the disease at the age of 17 in 2010.
Kleo, who works in finance, first started on what she describes as her “fitness journey” back in 2016, and, with the help of the Firewalker Fitness and Martial Arts gym in Wolverhampton, got herself into shape to take on this major challenge.
“I started out using the gym and then took up Maui Thai Boxing, which has given me a mind set to live a healthy life style to be able to always keep myself active,” says Kleo.
“I never really thought I would be able to take up running, but some great new friends gave me the courage to give it a go, and now no one can stop me!
“I have had great support from Firewalker, a place where the word family is taken and demonstrated with all great seriousness and every person is made to feel they belong.
“One person in particular would never let me quit with the running and persevered with me, and that’sThanh Nyugen.
“And now, with a half marathon being 13 miles, we are booked in to take on 13 races in 13 months.
“To complete this challenge I will need to be both physically and mentally strong, but I am excited to put in the hard work and cannot wait to see what we will achieve after our final race.”
Kleo has now completed seven of the 13 races, having started with the Simplyhealth Great Birmingham Run back in October, despite having to stop her training a few weeks before the event after injuring her foot.
She is due to finish with the Amsterdam Half Marathon this October.
All the time she continues to be inspired by childhood friend Jade, a keen footballer and Wolves supporter, who had visited the club’s Compton Park training ground and met the team’s management and players just a fortnight before she died.
“Jade wanted to get to her 18th birthday, but sadly didn’t make it and passed away at the age of 17,” says Kleo.
“Jade was one of the toughest and bravest people I know – she had been like my big sister and always looked out for me from the day I was born.
“Along with Jade’s twin sister Demi, the three of us as children would create our own little worlds and really live in the moment.
“Growing up together we have laughed, cried, argued, supported, held each other up and been on so many adventures together creating a million and one great memories, giving me one the best childhood anyone could ever have.
“We talked so much about the future, Jade wanting to be a fitness instructor, Demi a police officer, and I was going to be a forensic scientist.
“It didn’t quite work out that way!
“But Jade will forever be one of my greatest motivations to live each day to the fullest and to never give up.
“Cure Leukaemia helped with some of Jade’s treatments, which is why I am doing this to support them, but sadly she was taken away from us way too soon.
“By doing this challenge I hope to raise money to help change the lives of other young people similar to Jade.”
To support Kleo with her considerable challenge, and donate to Cure Leukaemia, please visit her fundraising page HERE
How funds raised for Cure Leukaemia help save lives