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Meet our cover star Mandi Kimberly, who used running to help manage her grief when her husband died suddenly

Mandy Kimberly, 31, was devastated when she became a widow suddenly at the age of 29. Thanks to fantastic support – and a tipsy agreement to run a half-marathon – she is finding a new lease of life.

Picture this: you’re 29 years old, happily planning a future with your husband – and then he’s gone. That’s what happened to Mandi in September 2014 when her beloved husband, Terry, contracted bacterial meningitis and died suddenly. “I don’t know if I’d ever actually sat down and thought 'If Terry died, what would I do?'” she says.

Mandi, who is originally from Nashville, Tennessee, met Terry when she was 20 years old and studying languages. She wanted to travel to Europe; Terry had lived in the USA as a child and knew her brother-in-law, who suggested Terry could act as tour guide. The couple dated long-distance for four years before marrying and settling in Northampton, where Mandi started work as a secondary school teacher. Although she ran to get in shape for their wedding, and Terry enjoyed hiking, they weren’t exactly sporty, she says. “If you’d asked us, I’m sure we would have said we were active. But in reality we were couch potatoes who went for a hike once in a while!”

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About Women’s Running

Re-start your running with the new issue of Women's Running, out now! We'll show you seven ways to break out of a running rut and how to come to terms with a new way of running when your times are on the decline. We've got expert advice on the steps you need to take now if you're planning for a spring PB next year. Plus, find out how running can help you be more mindful; be inspired by three women who celebrated big birthdays through amazing run events; and find out how to run if you have asthma. Giving your nutrition a re-think? Read a dietician's no-nonsense advice for fuelling your endurance sessions and read our special report on carb cycling for runners. You'll find all this plus the best kit reviews for road and trail, workouts for runners, and much more!