Marathon efforts for WAY

September 2022

Five inspirational WAY supporters pulled on their running shoes to raise funds for our charity this autumn and between them have raised more than £5,000!

Louise's story


WAY member Louise Horner-Baggs took part in the London Marathon on Sunday, 2 October.

She told us: “I started running one month after my husband died on Boxing Day 2017. What initially started as a coping strategy has now become a passion and a way of life. Since those first steps on Boxing Day 2017, I have now completed 12 half marathons, one 20 mile road race & one marathon.

One of my favourite life quotes is: 'Running teaches us to keep moving forward, one step at a time, especially in the most painful moments'.

After my one marathon (London, 2019), I stated that I would never run a marathon again, it was just too painful. However I did say that the only exception I would make was 'to run for WAY'.

I went to my first Gloucestershire WAY gathering two months after Mike died. I was so nervous & really didn't know what to expect. However, I needn't have been nervous, I found myself amongst people who just 'got it'. No words of explanation needed, no taboos, no awkward silences & most incredible of all, much, much laughter. 

My connection with WAY has developed & grown. I am now giving back, in that peer-to-peer way, by organising & hosting for others as they take their first steps on their difficult paths. I have established some very important friendships where we have grown together; sharing 'firsts', sharing family experiences & much, much more including laughter about dating & new relationships. 

Whilst my life has moved forward, WAY still has it's place & it's importance. I will always be a widow, but being a widow does not define me. 

I am running the London Marathon to support WAY & the incredible peer network that exists in this country. I hope that none of you are ever entitled to become a member of WAY, but if you do, what an incredible charity to be a member of."


Louise ran the London Marathon in under 4 hours (3:56:29) - an absolutely phenomenal achievement!

Help Louise reach her £2,000 fundraising target here.

Russell's story


Russell Day ran the London Marathon in memory of his brother in law, who died six years ago.

He told us: “For a number of years I have attempted to get a place in the London Marathon and this year has been my lucky year and I gained a place through the ballot. My attempts to enter the event have always really been about doing it for myself. However, six years ago my sister suddenly lost her husband to a heart attack aged 37 leaving her with three children under the age of six. It was a situation I don’t think anyone not having been there would understand but she found WAY Widowed and Young and I am grateful to them for the support not only the charity provided but also what the members provided in those early days.

To be able to speak and meet with people in the same position was invaluable being so young and totally unexpected. Life hadn’t prepared her for what was to come but, with the help and support of the charity and members, it made it a little easier, if that’s possible. So my place in the ballot became not only something for me but also to give a little bit back to this small charity that many of us will never need or indeed even be aware of, but is a tremendous support for those unfortunate enough to require the support so young.”


Russell completed the London Marathon in the epic time of 4 hours and 28 minutes: "an iconic experience with an atmosphere to match".

Show your support for Russell, who has raised more than £2,000, here.

Mia's story


WAY member Mia Nygren pulled on her running shoes to take part in a half marathon on Sunday, 2 October in memory of her husband James and in support of WAY.

Mia told us: “On 1 October it will be 5 years since I lost my husband suddenly to a brain haemorrhage and my life changed in an instant. On 2 October I will be running a half marathon in his memory and hopefully raise a bit of money for an amazing charity called WAY Widowed and Young, a charity I found shortly after James died.

Through WAY, I connected with other young widows who had sadly suffered the same trauma of losing their loved ones too soon and received enormous support to get through the chaos that such a loss creates, and they helped me find a way of putting one foot in front of the other, in order to start building a new life around my grief.”

Support Mia here.

Katie's story


WAY member Katie Pearson raised funds for WAY by running the half marathon on Cardiff on 2 October in memory of her late partner John, who died in a car accident in 2019.

"The notion of being young and having our lives ahead of us was ripped away, and I was left questioning how to continue to live, and most importantly raise my two boys on my own," she said. "It is fair to say I was in one of the deepest and darkest periods of my life, and with the Covid-19 lockdown looming, the struggle and isolation were about to get a lot worse. 

My lovely friend Clare suggested joining the charity WAY Widowed and Young - in fact, she signed up for me and paid my first year’s membership. As a typical millennial I spent a lot of time on social media, and WAY have an incredibly active Facebook group of young people who have lost their spouses. There we can safely share our thoughts, all of the worst and the best moments, support each other or simply have a rant. It became an invaluable resource to me, especially in lockdown when me and the boys were not only cut off from friends and family, but also struggling with our own grief. I can’t convey strongly enough how important it is to be able to talk about the experiences to others going through similarly painful and heartbreaking events, finally I felt like I wasn’t going crazy! 

WAY also supports people and families such as ours with financial and legal advice, events and meet ups, and the running of campaigns. One that is ongoing and particularly close to my heart is the current campaign to extend bereavement benefits to co-habiting couples, not just married couples as it stands now.

Any penny you can donate to this wonderful charity would be gratefully received. Everyday around 111 children under 18 in the UK lose a parent, I would love to show my appreciation to the charity by completing this challenge, and allowing them to continue with their fantastic work!"

Show your support for Katie here.

Allison's story


Congratulations to WAY member Allison Wall, who took part in the Royal Parks Half Marathon and raised more than £550 for our charity.

She told us: "WAY is an amazing charity for families going through this awful life destroying situation. It's not until you are in this situation you realise there's not a lot of support out there."

It's not too late to show your support for Allison and help WAY to support other bereaved families here.


WAY has applied for a charity place in the London Marathon next year - did anyone else enter the ballot?

Do get in touch with Elanor at if you're interested in running for WAY in the future - there are so many events all around the country and starting from small distances and for all levels of running experience.