AN MP has signed up to take part in a marathon challenge alongside a constituent.

Joanne Illingworth, from Bishop Auckland, has joined forces with MP Dehenna Davison and her chief of staff Jack Bell, to run across Bishop Auckland in a charity marathon later this year.

Due to the pandemic, the London Marathon, originally set to take place in April, has been rearranged for October 4.

With slightly different settings for this year’s marathon, Mrs Illingworth decided she would run in her hometown and decided to contact her MP to see if she would meet her at the finish line.

Ms Davison replied saying she and a staff member would join her for the full marathon with Mr Bell running the first half and the MP joining to run the second half.

The runner was ecstatic at the proposal she said: “If running and walking wasn’t hard enough I won’t have the crowds, the landmarks or the support in the water station, St John Ambulance et cetera, that we take for granted at any major running event.

“I contacted my local MP Dehenna Davison to see if she would run a mile or meet me at the finish in the hope it would help me fundraise for charities. Well I was shocked at the reply saying Jack would do the first bit and Dehenna would do the last bit.”

Starting her journey in October 2019, the runner has been training and fundraising for ten months.

Not a stranger to the marathon, Mrs Illingworth has run in three marathons, the latest being 2019.

After finishing the London Marathon in seven hrs in 2019 she was offered a guaranteed free place for 2020 and now is raising money for Macmillan and The Angel Trust.

Ms Davison said: “I had planned to participate in the Great North Run before it was cancelled so when Joanne got in contact with me to ask if I would join her running this marathon, I was more than happy to get involved. Both charities are quite close to my heart and are excellent causes to get involved with. I hope to see as many faces as social distancing will allow out in the street to support Joanne as she completes her marathon.”

To donate to the cause visit and search Joanne Illingworth.