Focusing on Granddad will help runner through 62-mile challenge

By Leah Smith in Charity

A keen runner from Paulton will be taking on her biggest challenge yet in memory of her Granddad, Clive Ward, from Clutton – and to raise awareness of the dangers of sepsis, which claimed his life.

Louise Tarr, a 28-year-old EasyJet flight attendant, has been fitting in her time in the skies with a regime of training to help her tackle over 62 miles in the Cotswold Way Challenge, which takes place at the beginning of July.

Having already smashed her £1,000 fundraising target for The UK Sepsis Trust, Louise’s main agenda now is to raise awareness of the deadly disease, which claims 44,000 deaths annually. It is an acute bodily reaction to infection, with initial symptoms being flu-like, meaning its seriousness can often be undetected – and patients can rapidly deteriorate. Sepsis can occur following infection, injury or other complications.

Louise’s Granddad, Clive Ward, had lived in Clutton all of his life and was well known in the village. He and his wife had been on holiday in Tenerife with Louise and her mum, who flew back to the UK a week before her grandparents were due to leave. Later that day, Clive began to complain that he felt ill, was feverish, and ended up being rushed to hospital. He spent ten days in intensive care, but sadly died on 13th October 2015, aged 79.

Louise had begun running the year before, in October 2014, and ran her first Bath Half Marathon the following year. She says: “My training is going brilliantly. My longest run to date is 36 miles, which was a very hilly route around Chew Valley and took just over six hours.

“My longest run before the event will be forty miles, which I plan to run in May, giving me a month for my body to recover properly from the long training runs in preparation for the 100k.

“I’ve not been following any training plans or guides, it seems to be working for me.

“The training is incredibly tough and people call me crazy for doing it, but I don’t call it ‘crazy’, I call it ‘dedicated’ – knowing I’m raising money for Sepsis UK in honour of my Granddad keeps me focused.”

Louise’s huge run travels from Bath to Cheltenham and to date, she has raised £1,130 for the charity. Readers are still able to donate if they would like to via: www.