A Sheerwater woman has completed the Great South Run in memory of her sister who died after contracting epilepsy.

Anne O’Neill finished the 5km race in Portsmouth despite having broken her ankle and suffering from a painful stomach condition. She also has a knee replecement, which hurts when she runs.

It was Anne’s eighth Great South Run in aid of various charities.

‘‘This particular 5km was a special race to me and very poignant because it was shortly before the anniversary of my sister Brigid’s sudden passing in November 2001,’’ said Anne.

Two months before Brigid died, the two sisters took part in a 5km race in London in memory of their mother Kathleen who died after suffering from arthritis for decades.

‘‘Brigid was not a runner but she enjoyed the walk and she had a beaming smile on her face wearing her medal around her neck.

‘‘I was so pleased I had encouraged her to do the race and I was very proud of her because that is the last photograph I have of her and myself.’’

Anne pinned that photograph on her T-shirt for the recent Great South Run, along with a poster for the charity SUDEP (Sudden Unexpected Death In Epilepsy) Action.

‘‘Some of the other runners saw the poster and patted me on my back and encouraged me.

‘‘The spectators were clapping and cheering everyone on and some of them called out my name.

‘‘As I saw the finishing line I ran towards it with the spectators banging on advertising boards with a smile on my face thinking of Brigid and feeling proud as I crossed the finishing line.

‘‘I finished in a time of 36 minutes 48 seconds, which I was quite pleased with.’’

The Great South Run was the latest of several fundraising events in which Anne has taken part this year, including a walk and runs in memory of her aunts, her mum Kathleen and Brigid. 

‘‘I am very pleased I am able to carry on participating in a very special event and I hope to be there again in 2024,’’ said Anne.