Online Editions

1st Aug, 2021

Remembering Lizzie: Change of venue blow to friends' 'run past'

Ross Crawford 13th Jun, 2021

THOUGHTS will be turned to ‘Tovey’s Corner’ when Redditch parkrun restarts later this month.

But rather than running past the Arrow Valley Park bend keen runner Lizzie Tovey and her husband Mark made their own, the runners have been sent to a new venue, by the BMX track off Icknield Street Drive.

For Macmillan Cancer Support ambassador and running enthusiast Sonia Tudor, the change of venue is a blow.

Sonia was there with Mark and Lizzie when she passed away from cancer, aged just 47.

A fund to raise money for a bench in Lizzie’s memory, at Tovey’s Corner, brought in an amazing £1,700 and Sonia had envisaged all the park runners filing past and paying their respects, but now that is not to be.

The exploits of courageous Lizzie captured the hearts of Redditch people.

When she was in her 30s she started losing her eyesight, leaving her virtually blind in her right eye and with only limited vision in her left.

Unbowed, she continued working, initially for Redditch Borough Council before being poached by the Civil Service.

She only took up running in 2017-18, starting on the ‘couch potato’ course, but by 2019 she’d done the London Marathon with a sighted guide.

However in 2020 came the devastating news she had a highly aggressive form of breast cancer.

Despite this she continued running and raising money for worthy causes.

She died on Boxing Day, 2020.

“The bench has been installed, name plaques have been bought and the plan had been for the runners to pay their respects as they passed,” said Sonia.

“Now that can’t happen.”

A council spokesperson said: “Our officers met with the parkrun organisers to discuss how we could safely restart this popular event in Redditch.

“Covid-19 is still a factor and the decision to move the parkrun course was agreed by both parties as a temporary measure to reduce congestion around the lake.”

Parkrun is expected to start on June 26.

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