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“To Simon, this has been for you. Thank you”

Created on 17/05/2022 @ 08:36


When Simon Tanner sadly passed away last year at the age of just 41, it stunned the town of Montgomery as well as the wider community.

The popular family man was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer during Covid lockdown, and his brave fight inspired so many across the area.

A year on, and one of his close friends, who also happens to be his cousin and former next-door neighbour, Jodie Bocking, decided to undertake a mammoth 41-mile run in his memory and to raise funds for two charities that mean so much to his young family.

We caught up with Jodie after she had finished her exhausting challenge in front of a gathering of family, friends and well-wishers in Montgomery on Sunday, more than trebling her original target of money raised.

In her own words, Jodie tells us why she felt so compelled to do something and what Simon meant to so many people.

“When Simon passed away on May 15, 2021, it was a massive shock to all, family, friends and the community.

He was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer during Covid lockdown. He was so strong, was an avid LFC supporter, loved to go biking, loved his family (his wife Penny and his two girls Ella and Sophia) and as an on looker they always seemed to go off and explore and have adventures as a family which actually inspired me to want to do the same with my own family. When Penny told me about Simon's passing I just couldn’t believe it. I think because he took such good care of his body and was so fit, people sort of expected he would be OK. He was so strong and determined and I admired him for that and the love he gave his family.

I wanted to support Penny and her girls as much as possible. My idea was just that to begin with. A passing comment, just an idea that perhaps I could raise money in Simon’s name to honour him and his memory by running 41 miles (his age when he came to rest).

As time seemed to go on, the idea picked up some momentum, it was the new year and the planning had commenced! Squeaky bum time!

I found a training plan online and adapted it to suit. I’ve done two marathons before and quite a few half marathons, 10kms and 5kms so I’d say I’m a seasoned runner, my legs would also vouch for that. I’d never done anything on this scale before, but I knew it had to be a significant challenge to do Simon proud.

Penny has always been an amazing person, I am lucky to have her in my life and by doing the event I knew that it would keep Simon in the minds of the community.

The training started 18 weeks prior to the event and it was tough. I have a young family of my own and a husband (who has been amazing throughout all of it and so patient and understanding of my reasons to do it and never complaining about me being out for hours on end running), so working around home life and work took some planning.

The run itself was something else, even though I knew I was ‘ready’.

On training runs I felt a lot better than I did on the day, but when training if something happens you don’t let anyone down - I was aware of all the fantastic support I’d had leading up to event day, all the donations and people taking time out of their Sunday to watch and cheer me on.

And I had Simon to think about. Thinking of him kept me going, as well as my awesome running support crew, who I am deeply thankful for - Anne, Damian, Tracy, Ali, Jan, Caroline, Aunty Gill, as well as Penny and Sophia, and extra special thanks to Suzanne and Neil who did half the challenge each).

I was just overwhelmed on Sunday, the love and care we have in Montgomery is incredible and the support I received off Penny and Simon’s parents (Stuart and Christine) before, during and after the event has truly touched my heart.

My initial target was £300 for each charity, so £600 total. And I am stunned at the generosity of those who have donated as the total now stands at £1,861.

I asked Penny which charities she would like me to raise money for and Severn Hospice and BEAT were the ones chosen, and I was really happy with that as I knew the support the family had received from them already and what money raised could do to help others.

I have also had experience with Severn Hospice, raising money for them previously and feel BEAT is a charity that needs more awareness raised around them, not just regarding eating, but regarding mental health too.

“What next?” Well, I don’t actually have anything planned going forward. I’ll see where life takes me. For now, I will be putting my feet up and having a cup of tea… if my girls let me!

To Simon, this has been for you. Thank you. You’ll Never Walk Alone (YNWA).”

If you would like to donate:


Severn Hospice:


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