Budleigh nurses’ coronavirus research fundraising campaign boosted by six willing runners

Debbie Newson and her team of Budleigh runners. Picture: Debbie Newson

Debbie Newson and her team of Budleigh runners. Picture: Debbie Newson - Credit: Debbie Newson

A Budleigh Salterton woman running a marathon a week until the cure for coronavirus is found has now been joined in her crusade by six other willing runners.

Debbie Newson began her weekly challenge last month in a bid to raise vital funds for the research into a cure for Covid-19.

The 45-year-old has since been joined by six others from Budleigh who all want to do their bit.

So far, more than £2,000 has been raised towards a £10,000 target for the Oxford University Coronavirus Research.

Mrs Newson has now been joined by Mike and Jane Shields, Joe Cooke, Mitzi Cunningham, Donna Hitchcock and Franki Martin.

So far, the group have completed four marathons each.

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“I was extremely surprised when first of all Mike said he would join, then Frank, and then the others,” said Mrs Newson.

“I was very surprised and really pleased – as a team we can support each other and keep each other going when those marathon miles bite.

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“We’re definitely stronger and more effective together.”

Mrs Newson launched Budleigh Runners in October 2019 and ran a marathon on the day which would have been this year’s London event.

She did the London Marathon in 2019 and was training for the 2020 event but that was postponed due to coronavirus.

Mrs Newson kept up her training through running and cycling.

She had a favourite route which followed the old railway line from Budleigh to Exmouth but has begun exploring other courses too.

More than 150 scientists at Oxford University are working to better understand coronavirus and protect communities from the virus.

Mrs Newson is a volunteer nurse and had put her name forward to help the NHS 111 service in the early days of the coronavirus crisis, but her asthma made her too high risk.

Speaking to the Journal earlier this month, she said: “I am a nurse and I was frustrated I couldn’t do my bit.”

To donate, go to the team’s Virgin Money Giving website

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