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Four-legged Friend Helps Mum Train For 10 marathons In 10 days

Donna Fitzpatrick with her running companion Bess1

Donna Fitzpatrick, from Bearsted near Maidstone, will tackle 10 marathons in 10 days this May to fundraise for a charity that helps vulnerable children and young people.

Overcoming immense physical and psychological challenges as she re-runs the same marathon each day, Donna is hoping to raise over £3,000 for youth charity Brathay Trust who work with over 6,000 youngsters across the UK each year helping them to turn their lives around.

A full-time mum to two teens, the 47 year old is training hard with the help of a four-legged friend. Every other day Donna runs between 10 and 20 miles accompanied by the family dog Bess, a six year old Working Cocker Spaniel.

She said: “My running partner is my lovely, loyal working cocker spaniel Bess. She is a great companion and comes out with me on every run. No matter how long or short, cold, wet or hot our run is her tail never stops wagging with enjoyment. I make sure our route is close to home and that she gets lots of opportunities to be off the lead. I wish I could take her with me as I shall miss her.

“I started running for fitness and enjoyment a few years ago and I was persuaded to do the Brighton marathon. Since then I’ve done three other marathons. I am both scared and excited about the challenge. I’ve been lucky enough to have a lot of support from a local friend who has run the 10in10 twice now – Ellan Iaquaniello. My son and husband sometimes join me too on their bikes and it’s great to have their company.

“My goal is to just to complete the 10 marathons to the best of my ability and hopefully to avoid any injuries. I expect I will be running for about six hours every day.

Donna added: “I feel very honoured and privileged to have been chosen to join the 2016 10in10 team. Brathay Trust is a fantastic charity, they do amazing work and I am pleased to be supporting them. I hope to raise as much money as I can and I know it will go directly to supporting young people for whom all else has failed.”

Between Friday 13 and Sunday 22 May Donna will tackle an anti-clockwise route around England’s longest lake, Windermere, in the Lake District. Regarded as one of the toughest UK marathons because of its undulating nature it is also billed as one the most beautiful.

Adventurer and Everest climber Bear Grylls calls it “an epic challenge that will require an epic strength of mind.”

Brathay’s Head of Fundraising Scott Umpleby says the charity greatly appreciates Donna’s support –  one of 12 runners taking part:

“Donna’s fundraising is helping youngsters like Joe. He has been in care since he was seven years old and needs help to make the transition to independent living. And ‘D’, who had to live with his violent dad when his mum died.

“Whilst we can’t wipe away all the terrible things that have happened to the young people we work with we can put them on the path to new and better lives. Every penny raised leads to a new beginning for a child who has had a hard life.”

To sponsor Donna please visit https://www.justgiving.com/donna10in10/

For more details of Brathay’s 10th anniversary fundraising event and how to enter the Brathay Half Marathon and Windermere Marathon on Sunday 22 May please visit: Brathayrunning.com.


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