Tragic death of dad inspires Terri to take on Great South Run

Terri-Ann Martin
Promoted by Simplyhealth Great South Run

A woman who lost her father in a car accident will take on her first-ever running challenge to raise money for a road safety charity.

Terri-Ann Martin was left devastated when her father Terry was killed on the A3.

The 29-year-old from Portsmouth, said the feeling of hearing that she had lost her dad as being ‘crushing’ and his death left a huge hole in their family.

But with the support of her brother Steven and sister Nikki, Terri decided to turn the loss of her dad into a positive by setting herself a challenge that he would be proud of.

The family was supported by the charity Brake.

So Terri-Ann decided to give something back to the charity and signed up to her first 10-mile run – the Simplyhealth Great South Run.

She said: ‘Dad worked as a driver for a care agency which provides transport for all its staff.

‘He went out to work one evening in January this year and was killed in an accident on a sliproad off the A3.

‘A call came through on my mobile late that night, a police officer broke the news to me, and I could hear my distraught mum in the background.

‘After arriving with my siblings, we watched my mum and her reaction to what she was told will live with me forever.

‘Having to then break such horrendous news to our nan, my nephew and the rest of the family left us with such a crushing feeling.

‘I felt helpless, in denial and confusion, all wrapped around with anger.

‘The only way that I have managed with these feelings is through the support of my brother, sister and partner who have been amazing.

‘The support of family, friends and a fantastic charity like Brake at this time makes you realise the love that people have for you.

‘Dad had an amazing life. He was retired from over 35 years service in the Army as a Colour Sergeant in the III Para and began a job back in Portsmouth when he retired.

‘He loved the city and was always willing to help people, so I think that doing 
something for charity is a fantastic way to honour his memory.’

Terri, who works as a systems engineer, will join 20,000 others for the run on October 22.

She added: ‘The Great South Run is something that I have always wanted to do, but never had the push to sign up to it.

‘I wanted to do something that was a challenge to me and have watched so many people run in previous years.

‘The information we got from Brake was really helpful. It contained a lot of useful information about what would happen next and what we could expect, along with numbers of a support line we could phone if we needed to talk.

‘It helped us to know that we aren’t alone. I’d spoken to the helpline, I wanted to know what was available for my family and especially my mum in terms of who she could speak to and they were so understanding and compassionate.

‘To know they were there for us if needed was reassuring.

‘I’m a huge believer in the fact that it is always good to challenge yourself, and this way you can get fit as well!

‘It will be amazing to be a part of an event with so many others all raising money for charity that’s close to them, and the setting and atmosphere in Portsmouth and Southsea at the time of the event is always great.’

Lifelong Pompey fan Terry worked as a driver for a care agency and was just 56 years old when the accident claimed his life on a rainy winter evening in January.

He witnessed a collision in front of him and got out of the car to call the emergency services, but was hit by another car coming up the sliproad.

Support Terri’s fundraising here.

For more information on the Great South Run and to enter, go to Great South Run