Two Leighton friends who met as toddlers are taking on the 322 mile Coast to Coast challenge to raise money for a cause that is close to their hearts.
Ele Parrott, 30, of Hollingdon and Emma Beasley, 31, will set off on Monday, June 20, from St David’s Head in Wales.
Ele – who works as a nurse in the acute medical unit at Milton Keynes Hospital – said: “We’ll each be running approximately half a marathon every day for 13 consecutive days.
“We’re taking on this incredibly tough challenge to raise money for the UK charity ACTION THIS DAY KENYA which provides education for desperately poor children in Mombasa and gives safe shelter to youngsters at risk of abuse.”
Ele and Emma, who’s a PA in Milton Keynes, have become more and more sporty as they’ve grown older.
Ele said: “We’ve both run the MK half marathon and the London marathon, which Em did this year. I’ve also done triathlons and Tough Mudders.
“Two years ago we cycled from John O’Groats to Land’s End, which led us to wanting to run across the country this year.
“Our aim is to collaborate with schools along the route to raise awareness of the charity. We also want to teach children the benefits of exercise as, being a nurse, I see the consequences of the nation’s rising obesity levels.”
The challenge finishes in Clacton-on-Sea on Saturday, July 2, and Ele admits they’ve had a few injuries while training. “But we’re determined to keep running to complete the challenge,” she vowed. “It will all be worth it if we can raise a lot of money.”
Ele visited the charity last year and was overwhelmed by the support given to the children, many of whom have been physically or sexually abused and neglected or are HIV orphans.
She said: “ACTION THIS DAY KENYA provides a safe and nurturing environment where they can learn and grow and hopefully use education to break the cycle of poverty for themselves and their families.
“Every single penny we raise will go straight to these children.”
> If you’d like to sponsor Ele and Emma, visit www.virginmoneygiving.com/team/runningcoasttocoast