Great North Run drama for cafe quartet

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.Louise, Ashley and Rachel after completing the Great North Run.

“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 s 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.”

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