It is with great sadness that we learnt that Marion Jones, a stalwart supporter of White Horse Harriers, passed away on the 15th February.
For those of us who have been associated with the club for some years Marion was an inspiration. She supported the club in different ways as an athlete, committee member and helping out at social events. For many years both Marion and her husband Alan were a key part of White Horse Harriers. Marion still holds a number of club records, including the W55 records at 400m, 800m, 1500m and 3000m – all of which date from 1993/4.
An illustration of the way Marion encouraged others was a successful group she established in the late 1990s called “Running Sisters”. This was like a women-only version of our current Jog Wantage course. She was a trailblazer as this was well before such courses became popular and the phrase “Couch-2-5K” known. Later she undertook the training needed to enable her to provide sports massages. In this way she was able to continue to support club members whether young or old.
Marion’s husband Alan cycled from Lands End to John O’Groats when he was well into his 60s. A little while after his death in 2003, Marion decided to replicate what he had done – and also completed the ride solo. I spoke with her about this ride a few years ago. At one point she cricked her back and was completely unable to proceed – but found someone at the weekend who could treat her and enable her to carry on. When I asked what maps she used to navigate she simply referred back to the GB Road Atlas that she had out.
Marion was inspirational, determined and ready to try something new. Our thoughts go to all her family at these times.
The photograph, which appeared in the Wantage & Grove Review, shows Marion and Alan at the Hanney 5 Road Race in October 1998.