Long Sutton pals united for marathon push

Paula Harrison (back, second left) and Nikki Kierman (back, third left) with old school pals and their families who took part in the walk.
Paula Harrison (back, second left) and Nikki Kierman (back, third left) with old school pals and their families who took part in the walk.

Old school pals from the Peele in Long Sutton have come together to help one of their former classmates shine in next year’s London Marathon.

Novice runner Nikki Kierman (44) aims to raise at least £2,500 for The British Heart Foundation (BHF).

My sister had a heart attack when she was aged 34.

Nikki Kierman

Old school friend and seasoned runner Paula Harrison helped organise a sponsored walk from Long Sutton’s Ship Inn to the BHF charity shop in King’s Lynn and has also put on her running shoes to train alongside Nikki.

The walk, involving seven school pals and their families, raised £647.20 towards Nikki’s charity.

Paula (44), a manager at Bakkavor Pizza, in Holbeach St Marks, said: “It was brilliant. It took just over four hours but we paced it because some had health or knee problems and we walked at their pace and had a stop for a drink.

“We are now talking about walking to Hunstanton but we have just got to wait for the weather to be on our side.”

Nikki’s charity choice was inspired by a dear friend, who has been diagnosed with a terminal brain tumour and has in the past done lots of charity cycling events to raise money for the BHF.

The cause is close to home too as Nikki lost her grandfather to heart disease and her mum, dad and sister suffer heart problems.

“My sister had a heart attack when she was aged 34,” said Nikki.

She applied to take part in the London Marathon at the same time as her daughter, Rebecca (21).

“I got in and my daughter didn’t,” said Nikki. “It came as a little bit of a shock to me.”

Nikki, a director in her husband’s plumbing company, says: “I have never run a marathon before and I have never really run like this before – I am trying most days to get out there and I am getting better at my times.”