On Sunday, Portchester Running Mummies continued on their journey to this year’s London Mxarathon with a special Valentine’s Day event.
All warmed up and dressed head-to-toe in superhero costumes, the friends took part in a small run through Portchester to raise money and awareness of Look UK.
The organisation supports children and young people with vision impairment.
Most of the women have never run a marathon before and some only started running two years ago, but all six are determined to complete the gruelling 26.2-mile challenge.
The group started at the Cams Mill Pub. The mayor of Fareham, Cllr Geoff Fazackarley, and the mayoress were there to cheer on the friends, who have so far managed to raise £4,500 for the charity.
Tilli Brown said: ‘I started running seriously about two years ago. Since then I’ve done a couple of half marathons but this will be my first marathon.
‘We’ve been training three or four times a week and it really helps having the support of the other girls to keep us going.
‘I’ve run for Macmillan and some big charities before but, for me, this is about bringing what some might consider to be a lesser-known charity into the limelight.’
Most of the women involved in the event met after joining Southsea Running Club.
One member, Laura Clark, said: ‘I used to run a lot but then stopped. I went from a size 10 to a size 18 and thought, “I’m not doing myself any favours”. Once I had strapped my trainers on and stepped back out into the fresh air, I fell straight back in love with it. Since then I’ve run two marathons, one in Amsterdam, but never the London marathon.’
Previously, Laura applied to take part in the London Marathon a staggering 13 times, but wasn’t successful. Laura said: ‘It would seem 14 times a charm! Now we can give this charity the recognition it deserves.’
Fellow runner Jo Hookings said: ‘We’re excited to raise the profile of Look UK, and it isn’t just us. We’ve got friends helping us out countrywide.’
Jo joined the running club as a walker after being diagnosed with a heart condition. She said: ‘I was told I couldn’t run but look at me now. I feel much fitter and the social side of the club is wonderful. We’re happy to be doing it for such a great cause.’
Cllr Fazackarley said: ‘It’s fantastic that these determined women are raising the profile of this independent charity. These are the organisations that need this kind of support. We wish them the best of luck and we’ll do all that we can to back them for the big race.’
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