Karrie laced up her trainers for Gerry

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DEDICATED Karrie Blake laced up her running shoes in honour of her former coach.

The 41-year-old, of Monckton Road, Copnor, was first across the finish line at yesterday’s Race for Life.

And it was her first Race for Life after not running for four years following the death of her running coach Gerry North in 2014.

He died from prostate cancer. Karrie, who wept at the start of the race, had helped care for him throughout his battle.

‘I did it for him, every time I did it before I have won it,’ she said.

‘I was his main carer when he was ill, I gave up running and was with him all the way through his cancer.

‘I’m back running this year and I did it in memory of him.’

Karrie finished the race not only in first place but with a time of around 18 minutes.

‘I stopped running for about five years because I lost my coach to cancer,’ she said.

Mr North, who was one of the instigators of the Victory 5 mile race, died in April 2014.

In September of that year runners taking part in that race did so in his honour, in a memorial to race director.

Mr North, who was 77 when he died, was in 1975, named as the most consistent cross country runner since the Second World War by the sport’s respected publication, Athletics Weekly.

He went on to collect his first England vest in 1960 and wins at senior level nationally and abroad. Mr North won the The News Sports Award lifetime achievement award in 2012.