Mansfield woman's heartfelt running mission to raise funds for defibrillators

Mansfield’s Heather Bond is on a running mission – to buy two defibrillators in memory of her husband who died from a heart attack.
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The keen runner is often seen running in and around Mansfield and recognisable by her purple hair and psychedelic leggings.

She challenged herself to run a number of challenges between December 15 last year and December 15 this year, in memory of her beloved husband Andy, who died on December 15 last year from a heart attack.

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Heather, aged 62, who lives off Eakring Road, said: “Andy was a fit person, a third-degree black belt in karate, and would spend a lot of time walking.

Heather Bond after completing the Boston Marathon in Lincolnshire.Heather Bond after completing the Boston Marathon in Lincolnshire.
Heather Bond after completing the Boston Marathon in Lincolnshire.

“He was my biggest supporter in my running, so for me this is the ultimate challenge in his memory.

“I decided to raise money for defibrillators in his memory, so no-one has to go through this – there are not enough of them about, so to get one would be great and to get two would be even better.”

Heather hopes that one defibrillator could be placed near The Vine Charity Shop in Stanton Hill, because it helps many people, helped fund a walking group Andy was a leading member of, and is helping organise the installation of a defibrillator.

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The other could be placed somewhere near her home, near the Ling Forest pub.

Heather and Andy in a photo taken 18 years ago when Heather did her karate black belt grading.Heather and Andy in a photo taken 18 years ago when Heather did her karate black belt grading.
Heather and Andy in a photo taken 18 years ago when Heather did her karate black belt grading.

So far, Heather has raised £2,658, and she hopes to reach £4,000.

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She said: “As Andy used to say, the only guarantee in life is death. Life is not a rehearsal, and can be taken away in an instant.”

Some of the challenges Heather is taking on have a reference to the number 72, the age at which her husband died.

Heather Bond has had a lot of community support for her challenge.Heather Bond has had a lot of community support for her challenge.
Heather Bond has had a lot of community support for her challenge.
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The final challenge of the year, on December 14 and 15, will see Heather running four miles every four hours for 48 hours, totalling 72 kilometres.

Coun Steven Garner, Nottinghamshire Council member for Mansfield South, is supporting Heather.

He said: “What happened was a real tragedy. I knew Andy well and he was fitter than me, than most people really. It’s a good thing Heather is doing, although defibrillators are the sort of thing we need, but don’t really want to have to use.”To help with Heather’s fundraising, go to justgiving.com and search for Heather Bond.

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