Two kind-hearted runners wanted to make a difference when they took on their first marathon.

Kat Downs and Zoe Ralph, who are run leaders with Prestwich Plodders running group, completed the Chester marathon last month.

After many miles in training, including during holidays, they crossed the finish line together in five hours and 17 minutes.

The pair, who both live in Prestwich, took on the challenge to raise money for a defibrillator for Heaton parkrun.

Hundreds of runners and walkers take part in the free, weekly 5k at Heaton Park and a device is always on hand in case of emergencies, but the existing one needed to be replaced.

Thanks to the generosity of their families, friends, fellow members of Prestwich Plodders and the parkrun community, they surpassed their £1,000 target to cover the cost of a new defibrillator.

Kat said: “Thank you so much to everyone who supported us and donated. We completed the marathon on a very hot day and it was certainly an experience we won’t forget. The fund-raising kept us going and it was fantastic to be able to support the Heaton parkrun team.”

Kat and Zoe handed the defibrillator over to members of the core team at Heaton parkrun on Saturday, when many of the volunteer roles were done by women from Prestwich Plodders.

The portable device can be used to save the life of someone suffering a cardiac arrest and comes with step-by-step instructions, so anyone can use it in an emergency.

Co-event director Duncan Shuttleworth said: “This was a fantastic effort by Zoe and Kat and we are very grateful for the generosity of all their sponsors.

“Heaton parkrun is a fun and friendly community 5k event held every Saturday at 9am and regularly attracts over 700 runners, joggers and walkers. It is entirely organised by volunteers and completely free to everybody.

“We rely on donations to enable us to buy new equipment, so Zoe and Kat’s contribution to the safety of the event is very much appreciated.”