A family celebrated the life of a close friend by taking part in a 10k run for charity.
And despite sore legs and blistered feet, the trio, from Chiswick, decided to capture the experience of the run and the memory of their friend in a heartfelt tribute poem.
Susan Sangster, her partner Frank Morgan and eight-year-old son Luke, showed their energetic side when they took part in Fuller’s London Pride Walk and Fun Run, which raised more than £20,000 for Cancer Research UK at Hammersmith Hospital.
Together they donated £200 for vital research into the disease, which took the life of Sheila Lawler – girlfriend of actor Struan Rodger, a long-term friend of Mr Morgan’s – two years ago.
Ms Sangster, of Devonshire Street, said: “The whole run was so breathtaking and well worth it.
“What was also moving was that Sheila’s son’s girlfriend was also at the race, which we were not aware of until we started running.”
Although successfully overcoming cervical cancer in her late 30s, Ms Lawler died in 2008 after losing her battle with lung cancer.
They family decided not to let Mr Rodger know they were taking part in the event beforehand, only calling him midway through the run to let him know.
Ms Sangster said: “He was really touched.”
The annual event has raised more than £1m in the 15 years it has been running.
Setting off from the Griffin Brewery, Chiswick Lane, the run saw thousands of participants complete the route along the Thames and over Chiswick and Hammersmith bridges on July 4.
Along the way the family stopped at one of Ms Lawler’s favourite pubs, where they enjoyed a celebratory drink, which helped get the creative juices flowing.
Explaining the origin of the poem, Ms Sangster said: “My son kept repeating her name and straight away my partner came up with the two opening sentences on the day.
“The third line came from my son repeating her name.”
Putting their heads together the poem came on in leaps and bounds and the finished version hangs in a frame on a wall in Ms Sangster’s house as a lasting reminder of their friend.
Poetry in motion
We ran for Sheila Lawler, A wonderful woman is what I’d call her. Your name, your name, your name, your name, A sigh, a smile, a tear, as silent as it came. Oh how your name does wander, Playing gentle games, Hide and seek upon our souls, Your name, your name, your name.
We ran for Sheila Lawler, A wonderful woman is what I'’d call her. It’s not about winning, It’s not about wealth, It’s not about the glory, Or even just our health.
We ran for Sheila Lawler, A wonderful woman is what I’d call her. Our legs were tired Can we ran anymore? Our energy started to fade fast. Should we stop? Should we rest? Or is it just a test.. To see how much.. Grace we can invoke. To transcend the other day’s Achievements? No joke, no joke.
We ran for Sheila Lawler, A wonderful woman is what I’d call her xx