Friends who work together in one of Middlesbrough’s best-known cafes had a day of drama as they competed in the Great North Run to raise money for the James Cook University Hospital.
Gemma Brighty – one of the team from Jean’s Kitchen in the Dundas Indoor Market – fell and cut her head after tripping in a pothole just two miles into the half marathon race. Gemma needed hospital treatment and stitches in a head wound but is recovering well from her injury and disappointment.
The rest of the runners – café manager Louise Matthews, Rachel Andrews and Ashley Shea – completed the course, with experienced runner Louise clocking 2 hours 4 minutes.Novices Rachel and Ashley, who only started training in January, were an hour behind.
“They did so well, particularly as it was such a hot day,” said Louise. “Gemma’s going to be fine. You expect to have sore feet after the Great North Run but not a sore head.”
Despite Gemma’s accident, the women exceeded their target of £2,000. The money will be split between departments at the hospital which have treated members of their families.
Rachel’s dad, for example, is an out-patient at the Cancer Day Unit and her sister is also receiving care there after just having an operation.
Dundas Indoor Market manager David Harris said: “Everybody is so proud of them and relieved that Gemma is going to be OK after a really nasty cut. I haven’t asked them yet but I wouldn’t be surprised if they entered again next year.”
Donations can still be made through a Just Giving page: