Castlewellan girl to complete her twelfth marathon in support of Air Ambulance NI
Running a marathon is no mean feat but to challenge yourself to 12 marathons over the course of a year, is certainly one that has be be admired.
Castlewellan girl Laura Brennan has done exactly this! Laura, a proud mother of four, and member of Murlough AC, started the year off during lockdown by challenging herself to complete 12 marathons for the duration of 2021 and raise money for Air Ambulance NI.
Laura Brennan speaking to Down News said: “I just hope that on the day of the final marathon on the promenade the weather is good… I don’t like running in the wind especially. I start from the Spike at 8am and it should take up to about 1pm to complete the 26.2 miles of the marathon.
“The promenade in Newcastle is 0.7 miles long so I have to run it 38 times. I’m really looking forward to the final run for Air Ambulance NI. It’s a great charity to support. I often hear them in the Mournes when I’m out running. I’ve supported them already on a couple of fundraisers.
“On one fundraiser I managed to get 280 runners to sign up and they ran anything between 25 and 150 mile each. I also completed the Slieve Donard marathon which was great fun.”
Laura added that she did not start her amateur running non-competitively until she returned from a period in Australia. Sha said: “I need something to engage myself with socially and to be in a club to go running so I joined Mulrough AC about six years ago. Touch wood I’ve been fit and healthy through this year and avoided any serious flus.
“My sister Clare has been a huge help in helping me to organise this event and in sorting out the music, photos and just keeping me focussed. I am a bit nervy about this last run as the weather could be a factor and it’s quite exposed. I’ll give it my best come hail or shine.”
Laura’s sister Clare supporting her of the 12-marathon mission, said: “In the midst of a lockdown, it was certainly a challenging time for everyone, but Laura didn’t let this dampen her spirits! She started the year with the idea of running 12 marathons and has stuck to her guns! She is embarking on her 12th marathon on Saturday 4th December.
“This time, she will run the length of Newcastle promenade where she will complete the final push for fundraising for Air Ambulance NI. This will also be a fantastic opportunity for her family, friends, running club members and the local community to gather to support her on her final run!”
Clare added: “Laura has shown so much endurance and determination this year as she set out each month to make sure she completed the 26.2 miles as promised. She did various routes each month around the stunning locations of Newcastle and Castlewellan, taking in sites such as Castlewellan Forest Park, the beautiful Newcastle coastline and also including one trip up the Slieve Donard!
“October was a particularly busy month as Laura completed three marathons to keep on track with her challenge. She completed the Belfast marathon in October. This was extra special as Laura was delighted to take part in a proper running event again after restrictions were eased.
“Laura continued her challenge in October when she took part in the relay event as part of the Belfast 24-hour endurance run. Laura successfully completed 52 laps of Victoria park, each lap just over 1 mile. Laura ran through the night and made sure she ticked two marathons off her list! These were only a couple of examples of the many marathons Laura challenged herself to this year!
“Throughout 2021, Laura has stuck to her promise to Air Ambulance NI and has almost completed her challenge to raise vital funds for them. Each day the Air Ambulance NI costs in the region of £5500 and £2,000,000 a year is needed a year to keep this vital service operational.
“Laura and her family would love to see as many of her friends and supporters come out on Saturday 4th December between 8am-1pm to show your encouragement and make a donation if you can.
“This certainly seemed like a daunting challenge at the beginning of the year, but Laura has certainly taught us, that with the right attitude and determination, anything is possible!”