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A MELKSHAM runner ran a double-marathon in less than 12 hours to raise money for Parkinson’s UK in support of her grandfather.
Leah Sartain took part in the ‘Race to the King’ last month, running 53.5 miles along the South Downs Way. Leah took 11 hours and 26 minutes to complete the course that started at the Slindon Estate near Arundel and finished at Winchester Cathedral.
So far she has raised £800 for Parkinson’s UK, a charity close to the heart of Leah and her family. “My gramp was diagnosed with Parkinson’s a number of years ago,” Leah explains, “at what I would deem a young age. Previous to this I have memories of him living life to the full alongside his wife Beryl, travelling here there and everywhere.
“It is heartbreaking to see my gramp’s daily struggles, however his sense of humour still remains. Beryl does a wonderful job being by his side, showing patience and love which is truly remarkable. I hope that by fundraising for Parkinson’s it will help towards finding a cure and allow continued support to my gramp and Beryl, and everyone else affected by Parkinson’s.”
About completing her epic challenge, Leah said, “I think I am going to sleep for a week! I have run two marathons before and a ultra-marathon, so I wanted a new challenge while my body is capable, and this felt like the next step.
“It was a hot day and the toughest race that I have run – but the adrenaline got me through it. It went by surprisingly quickly! The South Downs are beautiful, so there was lovely scenery to look at as I ran, so that helped to pass the time.
“The support from the public was great, and my mum came to support me at all the pit-stops, which was a great help.”
Leah’s mother Mandy Breakspear said, “We are incredibly proud, Leah has not done a run like this before and it was a very hot day – so this is an incredible achievement. She has raised a lot of money for Parkinson’s UK, which is a charity close to our hearts – the money will hopefully be a help towards research into this disease.”
To support Leah and donate to Parkinson’s UK, visit https://uk.virginmoneygiving .com/LeahSartain