Emotional end to Hartlepool mental health campaigner's running challenge on hottest day of the year
Runner Gemma Moutter was feeling the heat as she completed a week-long challenge in aid of mental health on the hottest day of the year.
Gemma ran over seven miles between her partner’s home in Hartlepool to her parents in Grant Houses near Horden for eight consecutive days.
An emotional Gemma was cheered on by family and friends as she reached the finishing line on Saturday morning.
She completed it in sweltering temperatures nudging 27C.
Gemma, 38, said: “Today was the toughest day with the heat but I done it in better time, I think because I knew it was the end and I was just thinking of everybody I was doing it for.”
She confessed to feeling “knackered” after completing the challenge which saw her clock up just under 60 miles.
Among those to welcome her across the finishing line with flags, food and drinks were parents Bert and Sheila Moutter and partner Kay Bayliss.
Gemma, who is expected to have raised £300-£400 for Hartlepool and East Durham Mind, said: “The reception was lovely.”
Kay said: “I think she’s done absolutely fantastic, I’m so proud of her.
"She just smashed it every day even when she was saying ‘what am I doing?’ There’s been highs and lows, not just physically but emotionally because of the reasons behind her doing it.”
Running helped Gemma, who is training for the Army Reservists in Hartlepool, to deal with mental health issues she suffered from during the pandemic and lockdown.
She initially decided to run seven days before adding an eighth day and running Saturday to Saturday.
And after the loss of four people close to her from suicide, she hopes to have raised awareness that it is OK not to be OK.
Mum Sheila added: “I think she’s done brilliant. I’m over the moon. My son Alan is doing a Three Peaks at the moment and my other daughter Debi works all the hours God sends during the pandemic, so I’ve got a family to be proud of.”
Anyone who still wants to sponsor Gemma can do so on her GoFundMe page called 7 Mile run for 7 days.