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Pilot's widow joins Great North Run

The widow of a Red Arrows pilot killed following an air display paid tribute to the crowds who supported her through The Great North Run.

Dr Emma Egging ran in memory of her late husband Flt Lt Jon Egging, who was killed when his jet came down when returning from Bournemouth Air Festival last month.

The 33-year-old died after making a dramatic attempt to steer his stricken Hawk away from nearby houses. He was the first Red Arrows pilot killed in a crash for 33 years.

Dr Egging, of Rutland, watched silently as the Red Arrows flew over the race's start line in the "missing man" formation in honour of her husband.

She then joined more than 54,000 entrants to the famous half-marathon between Newcastle and South Shields, running with the number 4 on her back in a tribute to her husband who flew as "Red 4".

Race organiser Nova International communications director David Hart said it had been the most moving moment in the race's 31 year history.

He said: "It was an incredible day. There was upwards of 54,000 entrants, all of whom were running for their own particular reasons but the tribute by the Red Arrows to their fallen comrade and the part Emma played in that was probably the most emotional and moving moment in the race's history.

"She said she was absolutely bowled over by the support she received during the race and by what happened at the start. It undoubtedly helped to keep her going."

Her husband's friend Squadron Leader Graeme Bagnall, who flies as Red 10, ran by her side during the race.

Professional athletes including British light heavyweight boxer Tony Jeffries, and celebrities including newsreader Sophie Raworth, EastEnders favourites Charlie Brooks and Neil McDermott, and models Nell McAndrew and Sophie Gradon, as well as amateurs, were taking part.


From Belfast Telegraph