A mother completed a charity race just hours after thieves broke into her home and stole two cars as her family slept upstairs.
Katrina Earl, of Swallownest, near Sheffield, found thieves had smashed conservatory windows and a door at her home on Haigh Moor Way, before stealing car keys and fleeing in a BMW and Mercedes.
Just hours after she made the discovery on Sunday morning, the tearful 39-year-old ran the Chesterfield Half Marathon in aid of charity Kids ‘n’ Cancer UK.
The sales rep is appealing for witnesses to the ‘nightmare’ ordeal to contact police.
Katrina said: “We’re devastated by what has happened. My husband must have only just missed the thieves. I went to bed early but he came up about midnight and at 1.30am the police said the cars were seen on the motorway.
“They smashed the conservatory windows and a door to get in. They only took the car keys.
“We have a pool table in the conservatory and my children – aged four and nine – had built a den under there. A lot of their friends sleep in tents inside and they wanted to, so I’d said no problem.
“Luckily they had fallen asleep in my arms watching television and I’d put them to bed because who knows what would have happened if they were in there.
“My little boy has night terrors. He is nine and ever since he was little he has had nightmares about burglars.
“Every night he asks if we have locked the doors and he has to check all the windows and can’t rest until he knows everywhere is secure.
“What this has done to him is a nightmare. The night after it happened he asked if he could sleep with a pool cue at the side of his bed. It’s heartbreaking.”
After contacting police Katrina ran the Chesterfield Half Marathon with her friend Dawn Thompson.
She said: “I cried the whole way round thinking about what had happened.
“I was injured anyway. I’d hurt my back and my toe nail fell off during the race, but I was doing it for charity so had to carry on.
“I know a little boy who had cancer and there was no way I could let the people down who sponsored me.
“I got home to find police in my house.”
n Call police on 101. To sponsor Katrina visit www.justgiving.com/Katrina-Earl2