Trafford teacher Elaine Cannon went to Gothenburg for her first race in a poignant tribute to her best friend.
Elaine, from Hale, took part in a half-marathon near the home of Jennifer Downes, who she first met as language students in their native Dublin back in the 80s.
Jennifer died of bowel cancer in a Swedish hospice in 2008 and since then Elaine, who was bridesmaid at her wedding, has raised money for St Ann’s Hospice.
Elaine said: “Jen would have celebrated her 50th birthday in June and it’s mine a few weeks later.
“I wanted to do something special to raise money in her memory and take on a challenge.
“My training was interrupted by my asthma but I managed to complete the course, though I felt a fraud having never been involved in a run before and it felt surreal next to more serious runners.
“Her local hospice in Gothenburg was amazing with its care and dedication.
“Hospices worldwide do such a fantastic job and most of them with little state support as they depend on donations and fundraising.”
Elaine, who works at Our Lady of the Rosary RC Primary School in Davyhulme, has raised almost £3,000 from her run.
Both she and Jennifer worked at the European Commission in Brussels where her friend met husband Mats.
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