Ottery woman plans ‘virtual marathon’ in aid of Hospiscare

Laura Saunders with the crafts and giftsin her shop. Picture: Laurylee

Laura Saunders with the crafts and giftsin her shop. Picture: Laurylee - Credit: Archant

An Ottery woman is set to run a ‘virtual marathon’ in aid of Exeter, Mid and East Devon Hospiscare.

Laura Saunders, who owns the shop LauryLee in Broad Street, will complete the 26.2 mile distance by running several much smaller laps – possibly in her own garden - on Sunday, May 24.

Ms Saunders originally hoped to host a charity event in her shop, but it had to be cancelled when the coronavirus lockdown began.

During the following weeks, she became increasingly aware of how badly the lockdown was affecting Hospiscare and other charities, following the closure of their shops and the cancellation of fundraising events.

She said: “I had signed up to run Exeter marathon on May 17, so when this was inevitably cancelled, I initially let out a sign of relief.


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“However, a few weeks later, after reading on social media how Hospiscare was suffering from lack of donations, I decided the logical thing to do would be to still run the distance, safely and on my own, in order to raise funds for Hospiscare.

“The virtual marathon will mean I’ll be running a 26.2 mile distance, as of yet it’s hard to plan the route, not knowing what restrictions might be in place at the time of the run.

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“If need be, I’ll run a one mile loop 26.2 times, or even adapt to run the distance in my garden if I have to.

“This also means I’ll have no cheering crowds, no other runners to keep morale up during the run and sadly no finishing medal.

“This will be my first marathon attempt, and I should stress that I’ve trained hard for this and am confident in myself that I can complete it.

“I’ll be taking extra precautions on the day and listening to my body to minimise the risk of any injury.

“I’ll most certainly not be pushing myself to reach a ‘good time’ and will have household members aiding my attempt and ensuring safety at all times.

“I’m also listening to all government guidance and will adapt accordingly.”

Click here to donate to Ms Saunders’ cause on the JustGiving website.

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