Brave Exmouth women complete American marathon

A GROUP of brave Exmouth women are taking a well-earned rest after completing an epic run – despite being faced with problems such as suspected swine flu and leg injuries.

Clare Medlock, Lorraine Kirby, Cally Rowland-Lapwood and Kay Douglas, all jetted off from Devon to take part in an event, called the Goofy run, in Orlando, Florida, last week.

The four women were all raising money for charities which included The Alzheimer’s Society, East Devon and Exmouth Hospiscare, an African charity and Breast Cancer Awareness.

They managed to collect in excess of �3000 for the good causes.

Despite months of planning for the run, Clare, of Marpool Hill, said the trip was not without drama.


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Just two days before the run, Kay was told she could not travel because of swine flu.

Describing how the group reacted to the news, Clare said: “We were devastated. We were on a knife edge right until the end.”

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She added: “At the eleventh hour we were told she was fit enough to travel but may not run.”

The Goofy run is a marathon-and-a-half and has a distance of 39.3 miles. Both of its races start in the early hours of the morning to avoid midday heat.

Clare said the group woke as early as 2.30am on the first morning and Kay was given the all-clear to take part.

“It felt a bit surreal standing in running gear in the darkness, but 18,000 runners could not be wrong.

“The entertainment whilst we waited to start was great: Lively music to keep us warm and motivated. There’s nothing like a bit of cheesy dancing at 5am to get you warmed up.”

Clare said there was a fantastic firework display before the event started and all the entrants were waved off by Mickey Mouse and his friends.

“The half marathon was amazing. We all felt fit and were running to pace until mile 11, when suddenly, Cally stopped with severe pains in her calf and knee.”

Cally, though, managed to complete the runs thanks to massage treatment and reducing the pace at which she moved through the course.

“When asked what the best bits were, my initial reaction is to say the finish lines! But there are so many fantastic experiences it is hard to single one thing out,” Clare said.

“At the end of day two we crossed the line with such elation and emotion, not so much for what we had done but what we had overcome, despite illness and injury.”

For further details of the charity fundraising, visit the following website addresses at www.justgiving/clare-medlock www.justgiving/cally-rowland and www.justgiving/lorraine-kirby0

And for details of how you can get involved in the Exmouth running group visit www.womensrunningnetwork.co.uk

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