'The most exhilarating feeling I’ve ever had': Runners who are ‘terrified of heights’ make skydive for cancer charity

A group of six women athletes have fallen from the skies to raise money for a cancer charity.

Tuesday, 22nd June 2021, 4:55 am

The women, who are all members of the Sunderland Warriors Running Club, leaped from a plane in a spectacular and successful attempt to raise £1,500 for Macmillan Cancer Support – they eventually raised £1,665.

The jumps took place at the Sky-High Skydiving club at the Peterlee Parachute Centre.

None of the six had ever done a skydive before and director of the running club, Tori Humble told the Echo before her jump that she was “terrified of heights” and didn’t even like to sit on a plane.

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Lisa Dove Wartson was one of the runners to jump from the plane.
Lisa Dove Wartson was one of the runners to jump from the plane.

However, the six were all thrilled by the experience and delighted they had found the courage to make the 15,000 feet, 120mph “tandem” descent, meaning they were harnessed to an instructor.

The Sunderland Warriors have been touched by cancer in recent times with two members suffering from the disease. One has overcome it while the other is undergoing treatment.

This, along with the help that Macmillan gave her nana Ivy Dean who died from cancer a few years ago, inspired Tori to overcome her fears and take the plunge.

The other five brave souls were Janice Young, Claire Hammal, Phyllis Carlisle, Lisa Dove Watson and Lacey Phillips.

Geronimo! Sunderland Warriors Running Club director jumps from a plane for the first time.

Tori said: “It was amazing. It was the most terrified I’ve ever been and never felt so sick in my life. The weather changed and I had to wait for an hour.

"I told my instructor how much my heart was pounding and he pointed out that we were still on the ground!

“There’s no countdown before you jump. They just open the doors and send you out of the plane from the little bench. I was waiting for that feeling of falling, like on a rollercoaster, but it’s not like that.

“It was the most exhilarating feeling I’ve ever had and after you’ve done it you feel like you can take on the world. Apart from having my children, it’s the best thing I’ve ever done.

The expression on Phyllis Carlisle's face says it all.

“A big thank you to everyone who sponsored and supported us.”

Sunderland Warriors Running Club is open to people of all ages and abilities. Visit sunderlandwarriorsrc.com.

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Lacey Phillips was another of the Sunderland Warriors to take the plunge. Literally.