A FORMER Knutsford Royal May Queen has pledged to run four endurance events in nine months in memory of her grandma.

Jodie Hyatt (nee King) and her husband Jon have swapped tinsel for trainers to prepare for the first challenge – the Walt Disney World Marathon in Florida on January 13.

The couple, who now live in Newquay, will be completing the most gruelling stage of their training over the festive period with 19-mile runs.

Jodie, who was crowned as May Queen in 1997 when she was 12, is raising money for East Cheshire Hospice, which cared for her grandma Betty Parkinson, who died in September 2010.

“They treated her with the dignity she deserved, and enabled us to say our goodbyes in the best environment,” said Jodie, 28, who attended Yorston Lodge.

“The hospice receives less than 23 per cent of their annual costs from the Government, and so has to fundraise almost £6,000 every day to maintain its current service.

“To thank them and to give other grieving families what we had, I want to raise as much money as possible. They were a lifeline to our grieving family.

“I’ve always wanted to run a marathon, but have realised training for one is very hard – so it seemed something I might be able to persuade people to sponsor me to complete.

“To make it a bit trickier, I’ve thrown in two half marathons and a 10k, all in the space of nine months.

“Training during a wet, dark, cold winter is tough, but when you have to shun mince pies and mulled wine too, it gets even harder. However, running for such a great cause makes it all worthwhile.”

Betty lived in Mereheath Park with her husband Roy.

Jodie, who used to live in Long Lane in Over Peover, said: “I have so many happy memories of growing up in Knutsford, and my grandma was a huge part of that.”

Jodie’s husband Jon has chosen to support The Phoenix Stroke Appeal, which is aiming to raise £500,000 to improve stroke services for the people of Cornwall.

He said: “We have run more than 450 miles in training and probably suffered a similar number of blisters.

“If you can spare anything to help us raise money we’d be so grateful.”