RUNNERS will don bright colours to mark five years since the death of a Colchester mum who lost her life to a brain tumour.

The annual Run for Gem event will return to Colchester’s Castle Park on Saturday, December 2.

The 5k charity run is held in memory of mum-of-two Gemma Edgar, who died in 2018 aged just 33 after being diagnosed with a brain tumour.

It has been an annual fixture in the city’s running calendar since its first edition, which was organised by her friends Cara Greenley and Jen Kaye and was held ten days before she died at St Helena Hospice.

Gemma, a children’s nurse at Colchester Hospital and a keen runner herself, took on several races, including the iconic London Marathon and two half marathons, while undergoing chemotherapy.

Gazette: Runner - Gemma Edgar completed the London Marathon in 2018Runner - Gemma Edgar completed the London Marathon in 2018 (Image: St Helena Hospice)

Reflecting on the fifth anniversary of his daughter’s death, Gemma’s dad Andy Relf said: “Despite her terminal prognosis, Gemma always remained positive and upbeat, and was a fantastic mum to our two grandsons.

“Looking back to Gemma’s last few months of life is a very difficult and painful experience for the family, but the love and care that Gemma and the whole family received from St Helena Hospice during this time will never be forgotten.”

'Gemma would be so grateful'

More than £10,000 has been raised for the hospice and Brain Tumour Research since the first fundraiser.

Cara said her friend would’ve found the support “incredible”, adding she would “be so grateful to everyone who is carrying on her love for running and continuing to help both charities”.

Gazette: Participants - there was a great turn out at last year's eventParticipants - there was a great turn out at last year's event (Image: St Helena Hospice)

“Being able to arrange such an event makes me continuously very proud, and without the support from Gemma’s family, friends and associates this event wouldn't be the success it is,” she added.

“I cannot thank everyone enough.”

The event, which starts at 10.30am, will see participants run, jog, or walk the 5k route around the city centre park.

A £5 donation from each runner will be split between the two charities, and supporters are encouraged to wear sunflower-themed clothes or accessories.

More information about the event can be found at