Express & Star

Marathon challenge exciting for fundraiser

A Black Country woman is putting in the final miles in preparation for a marathon fundraising challenge.


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Sarah Hooley is getting ready for the longest run of her life, having been accepted to take part in the 2024 London Marathon on April 21.

The 36-year-old from Woollaston said she had been aiming to complete a marathon as part of turning 40, having run a half-marathon at 30, but found out she had been accepted and decided to go for it, something she said was a nice challenge to have.

She said: "I've always done a bit of running, but nothing to this extent until I did a half-marathon when I turned 30 and I thought to myself that I'd like to do London before I hit 40, but it happened a lot quicker than I expected.

"Training for it has been going well and I think I've run close to 300 miles around the Black Country, running between a lot of Bathams pubs as I work for them as an accountant.

"Some of them have been a bit harder to get to than others, but it's been good and I feel like I've been training well."

Ms Hooley said she had been surprised to be given a place, but was thrilled to do it and had accepted a charity place with the Samaritans, saying it was a charity that she wanted to help.

She said: "I think they've done a lot of great work to help people affected by a lot of issues, especially following Covid and the period afterwards.

Sarah Hooley said she was hoping to run the marathon in five hours

"I don't think there's anyone who hasn't suffered a bit with some sort of mental health issues, so it's definitely a charity I want to help."

Ms Hooley also praised Bathams, saying that they had sponsored her for £1,000 and allowed her to put charity tins in every Bathams pub, as well as supporting her training.

She said the excitement was starting to grow for the big day in London and hoped she could inspire people to take up challenges like this.

She said: "Bathams have been amazing, supporting my training and sponsoring me, and I've been running home from work a lot, with my husband dropping me off at work.

"People keep asking me about it as well, wishing me well and saying that I should have my name on my shirt so that people can shout my name and cheer when I run past.

"I'm hoping to be able to do it in about five hours, but I'll be happy to just get over the finish line again and I'd like to thank everyone who sponsored me and supported me through this."

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