Fundraiser Laura Hoskins, who was running in memory of her late husband Matt, had a surprise addition to her Bath Half-Marathon team on Sunday.
Former Bath and Leicester rugby player and England captain Lewis Moody, who met Laura through a friend, joined 24 of Matt’s family and friends in the 13-mile race around the city.
Mrs Hoskins, 30, is raising money for Bath Cancer Support Unit Group in memory of Matt, who died of brain cancer at Royal United Hospital in Bath last August.
The group is one of many charities The Hoskins Foundation, set up in memory of Matt, aims to raise money for.
Sunday was his 33rd birthday and the team raised £2,200.
Mrs Hoskins said: “I only found out Lewis wanted to do it a week and a half ago. It was brilliant having him wearing one our T-shirts so everyone could see what we were raising money for.”
Mrs Hoskins, who works at Westview Day Nursery in Bradford on Avon, ran with Matt’s best friend Rob Janes and completed the course in two hours, four minutes.
She said: “The team spread around the course which was good. There were points where Rob and I struggled. We kept each other going because stopping wasn’t an option.
“We were pleased to have Lewis supporting our team and he waited for everyone to come through at the finish line, which was lovely.”
Lewis, who ran in one hour, 48 minutes, was saddened to hear the story of Matt.
He said: “It is a tragic story but it gave me an incentive to be part of the team. It is a great cause.
“I had a good level of fitness and reasonable amount of training but I still found it tougher than I thought.
“Laura is so incredible with how she is fighting with it all – still working and looking after a young child.”
Mr and Mrs Hoskins’ daughter, 21-month-old Freya, did the 1.5-mile family fun.