She enters London race to honour her disabled sister
A housing officer at East Devon District Council will be running her first marathon later this month – and has chosen the gruelling London race for her initial outing.
Amy Gilbert, Support Services Manager, has run several half marathons, but has never before run in a full marathon. She is running in aid of Mencap, a charity that is dear to her heart as she has a younger sister who has severe mental and physical disabilities.
She aims to have at least £3,000 collected or pledged before she joins the other 40,000 or so runners in London on race day – Sunday 26 April.
It has been on my ‘bucket’ list for some time and will be the biggest physical challenge I have ever put myself through.
After watching the London Marathon on TV last year (as I do annually), I decided that 2015 was going to be my year and applied straight away to Mencap to see if I could run for them. There was never any doubt as to what charity I wanted to do this for.
My little sister Alice has very severe disabilities, both physically and mentally. Unfortunately for us, Alice’s lifelong condition remains un-diagnosed which is terribly frustrating to accept. We battle on with medical teams to work towards one day getting a diagnosis for her - we remain hopeful that this will come.
My parents dedicate their lives to caring for Alice and together with my older sister Abi - we as a family do everything we can to give Alice the happiest life possible. Alice is very lucky in lots of ways, mainly as she has a loving family who care for her.
Unfortunately many disabled people are not in Alice’s fortunate position and in all sorts of ways struggle with their day-to-day lives. The charity Mencap works every day to improve the lives of 1000s of disabled people, providing people and support in all sorts of ways to help the many battles that disabled people face.
I am running in support of this fantastic cause and to help Mencap go on doing what they do.
I’m training four times a week, with long runs on Sunday mornings. I can be seen around 6am pounding the streets of Exmouth to get my training in before going to work. Many Sunday mornings have been spent training at Burrator Reservoir on Dartmoor. I love the ‘fresh air’ up there and find it the perfect spot for those long training sessions.
Fund-raising efforts so far have included a summer garden party in September last year, which raised over £500. EDDC’s Housing Team created Christmas hampers and a cake sale at Knowle in March raised £267.
Amy’s parents are also planning to host a games evening for family and friends.
I have been overwhelmed by the generosity of family and friends and to date have currently raised just over £2000. My target is to reach £3000 before I run the marathon on 24 April.
I will be running with my older sister Abi, who is also taking on the challenge. Abi is running for the charity Children with Cancer. She’s quite a bit faster than me, so we won’t be running together. Let’s see who finishes first though, shall we!
My link is http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/AmyGilbert