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Brave Roisin Peden completes run weeks after husband's death

By Stephanie Bell

Published 01/09/2016

Jonathan Peden and wife Roisin on their wedding day last month
Jonathan Peden and wife Roisin on their wedding day last month
Tragic loss: The funeral of Jonathan Peden will be held in Donaghcloney

A heartbroken Lurgan newlywed whose husband was killed in an accident at work just three weeks after their marriage has completed a park run in her local town for the first time without her husband by her side.

Hundreds of people this week hailed Roisin Peden for her courage in taking part in the event at Craigavon Lakes on Sunday, just two weeks after her husband Jonathan's death.

The couple participated in the local park runs together, and after Sunday's race a heartbroken Roisin accepted the award for runners-up in the league they won together.

Other family members were at the event to support Roisin, and fellow runners donned black running gear as a tribute to tragic Jonathan.

The winning couple was Ken Simpson and Julie Beattie, and in a touching moment Ken dedicated his prize to the memory of the man against whom he battled so hard for the top spot.

Citypark Park Run organisers also paid a heartfelt tribute to Jonathan.

"Whether he raced ahead, running with the wind, or paced the love of his life Roisin to her own PB (personal best), JP was and will continue to be part of the fabric of the Citypark park run community," they said. "We will always remember him fondly."

Both keen runners, Jonathan and Roisin had taken part in the Cookstown Half-Marathon for the first time together just two weeks after their wedding.

Jonathan (33), who was popularly known as Johnny, died at work in Little Electrical Engineering in Lurgan, where he was a buyer, on August 11.

That morning, Roisin dropped him off at work - as she did every day - and kissed her husband goodbye.

Family and friends carry Jonathan Peden’s coffin in Donaghcloney
Family and friends carry Jonathan Peden’s coffin in Donaghcloney
Tragic loss: The funeral of Jonathan Peden will be held in Donaghcloney
Roisin Peden follows her husband’s coffin in to his local Elim church
Hundreds of people follow the coffin of Jonathan Peden in Donaghcloney village

Just hours later police officers arrived at her door and broke the devastating news that he had been killed.

Speaking after her unbearable loss, Roisin said she had been left "broken" and described their wedding just weeks ago as the happiest day of their lives.

"It is so unreal, I can't believe it," she said in an interview with UTV. "I feel broken. I wish somebody would wake me up.

"I can't believe that I'm not going to hug him again or see him smiling. He's just gone.

"He honestly was such a genuine, caring, great person. It's so sad that it was all so short."

The grieving newlywed added that the pair had "just gelled" and were deeply in love.

"He was so good to me, he was so caring and did everything for me, and nothing was too much trouble," she explained. "He loved looking after me and I loved looking after him.

"He was such a good person and he had to go so soon."

Hundreds of tributes flooded social media following Jonathan's death for his widow and her courage in going ahead with the run.

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