An Ingol mum is set to run a marathon in Ashton Park to raise funds and awareness in the fight against knife crime.Advertisement
Kirsty Quigley will be doing 20 laps of the park on Saturday 27 June in memory of her friend Laura’s brother Colin, who was 21 when he was stabbed to death in 2001 in a case of mistaken identity.
She will be joined by Laura for a few circuits of the park, plus other different team members of her running group for each lap, to spread their #kNOwKnifeCrime message.
Kirsty said: “I run with quite frankly the best run group in the world. Some of them should have run London Marathon but obviously couldn’t. They trained hard and are so close to reaching their fundraising target, so I wanted to step up and support them like they support me.”
As a mum of three boys, Kirsty says she is concerned that knife crime has only worsened since Colin’s death 19 years ago.
She said: “Colin was a nice boy from a nice family. I don’t even like saying he was in the wrong place at the wrong time. He was walking home; anyone should have the right to do that. This shouldn’t have happened to him.
“My boys are nice boys who are being raised well and know right from wrong, but they could end up in the wrong place at the wrong time. The sad thing is, any of our children could.
“I got chatting to a lady only a week ago and was telling her about the run and the reasons I am doing it. She told me her best friend’s 17-year-old son goes out carrying a knife because it makes him feel safer. That is in Preston. It’s happening in our home town. How scary is that?
“It is happening more and more, so I will keep shouting and keep raising awareness.”
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A portion of the money raised will pay for KnifeSavers bleeding control kits to be placed in areas that are high risk. The kits can help reduce blood loss to hopefully save the lives of stabbing victims.
Funds will also go towards outreach work in schools, explaining to young people the immediate dangers of knife crime, along with the long-term impact on the families of both victims and perpetrators.
Kirsty said: “We need to get to these children at a young age. Teach them the devastating effects that carrying – or worst case using – a knife can have on not just the victim’s life, but their own. You are more likely to be injured with a knife if you carry one.”
Read more: Police say “don’t be alarmed” after recent Preston knife crime incidents
Kirsty will be running for almost the 100th day in a row, after she started doing a run per day when lockdown began.
“Yes, I run a lot, but I’m so far from a natural runner it is unbelievable. I still get nervous before I go out for a 5k.
“It won’t be easy for me, and I’ll be running on ridiculously tired legs. It’ll be day 97 of consecutive running. I’m tired, my legs are currently screaming at me, but that’s what makes it more of a challenge.
“When my running team members each join me for a lap at a social distance, it will keep me motivated and remind me of the importance of continuing to raise awareness of knife crime in our communities.”
Read more: Man suffers ‘life changing’ injury in New Hall Lane machete attack
To donate to the cause, visit JustGiving.
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What do you think of Kirsty’s efforts? Will you be going to cheer her on tomorrow? Let us know in the comments.