Colleagues run in memory of Breakfast editor Alison Ford

John Hess and Tony Roe In the pink: John Hess and Tony Roe

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They are not as fast as Mo Farah but will be hoping to channel some of his Olympic spirit in the name of charity.

Nottingham-based TV journalists John Hess and Tony Roe are training for a marathon they'll run in memory of former Breakfast editor Alison Ford, who died of cancer in July.

They'll be taking part in the Robin Hood half marathon in Nottingham on September 29, raising funds for the Breakthrough Breast Cancer charity, a favourite of Alison's.

Both are amateur runners in their mid-fifties who find the prospect of running a half marathon 'daunting'.

'Wretched'

John completed his longest run - a total of seven miles - one recent weekend and says that it left him feeling 'absolutely wretched' on Monday morning. 'I still have a lot of work to do,' the political editor for East Midlands tells Ariel.

John admits to having a competitive streak, which he says is in a journalist's DNA. The editor believes his colleague Tony, who is the series producer of BBC One's Inside Out, has the slight edge in the running stakes - 'I have to say he looks a little bit fitter and leaner than me at the minute.'

Both journalists worked with Alison when she was head of the centre in Nottingham. 'We wanted to do something in her name and for a cause that her husband Martin and their two sons feel strongly about,' says John.

Pink power

For the big day, the amateur runners will be 'in the pink' to match the charity's colours, and they have been looking into ways of incorporating the colour into their training.

Tony says: 'I have a pink bandana and have been trying to find training runs where I don't bump into anyone wearing it.

'John's looking at dying his hair pink. The problem is, as the region's political editor, he's heading for the Conservative Party conference after the run. I'm not sure he'll be able to wash it all out!'

Marie Ashby, an East Midlands presenter and one of Alison's closest friends, says the former Breakfast editor would have been 'incredibly touched' by the pair's efforts.

'She would have found it particularly amusing that they're having to tough it out in pink! A total of £2000 was raised following Alison's funeral in Nottingham, and family and friends will be there to cheer them on.'

  • If you want to donate, text JHTR50 to 70070 followed by the amount, e.g. £2. Or you can go to the Just Giving website set up in Alison's name.

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