Sidmouth duo set to run Rome Marathon

Sidmouth runners seek donations for marathon run to aid Catholic Children’s Society

A SIDMOUTH duo is set to run the Rome Marathon in March to raise funds for the Catholic Children’s Society.

Chris Wale and Brigid McEleney-Smith (pictured) decided almost a year ago to undertake the challenge to raise funds for the society, which they say is “a great charity, which is close to our hearts”.

Chris was cycling and speed walking to keep his weight down and Brigid is already a keen marathon and Grizzly runner. After discussing the challenge with partners Steve and Marian, the pair agreed to tackle the marathon in the second week of March.

Since then they have been training together each week, running coastal paths between Seaton, Sidmouth, and Sidmouth to Budleigh.

Brigid said: “We are on schedule and have been working up our mileage on a gradual basis and are now feeling the benefits.”

Chris, a Sidmouth town councillor, added: “It is amazing how wonderful our coast actually is, the views are breathtaking, especially early in the morning when the sun rises.”

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The pair have done other fund raising events, raising �1,000 each for the society. These included carol singing at several of the town’s hotels and Sidmouth Garden Centre, with half the proceeds going to HCPT, the Pilgrimage Trust.

There are 12 members of HCPT in Sidmouth, raising funds for the society.

The Catholic Children’s Society provides grants and bursaries for families and children in need and “does so much more” added Brigid. (

The duo has set up a gift aid website for donations at

Meanwhile Brigid’s husband, guitarist Steve, will perform with his band, McSmith’s, at a folk evening at St Teresa’s Hall, Sidmouth, on Saturday, February 4, from 7pm, along with Will Vine.

Tickets are �6, available through Chris or Brigid on (01395) 512830 or 07811364327. Sausage and Mash or vegetarian option, is included in the ticket price and there will be a licensed bar.