Marathon runner Kellie Clark wasn’t going to let the lockdown get in the way of her fundraising for a children’s charity so she recreated the London Marathon in her pub garden – dressed as a pint of beer.
Mum-of-three Kellie, who runs the Royal Hotel in Heysham with husband Alasdair, had been looking forward to her third London marathon in aid of Round Table Children’s Wish, a charity which makes wishes come true for poorly children.
So when Covid-19 caused the cancellation of the marathon she decided to run the entire 26.2 miles on the day in her pub garden, cheered on by children Arthur, six, Rose, five and three-year-old Angus and passers-by.
Kellie said: “I just thought I’ll still do what I can for Round Table Children’s Wish – we’ve got a lovely beer garden and all this space and I had really been looking forward to the London marathon.
“I measured it – I’ve got a watch with a gps tracker so I could be accurate – and it worked out at 300 laps of the garden. There’s even a hill and some steps to negotiate.
“It generated a lot of interest in the village – we had buckets out and everyone who passed by stopped to wish me luck and chuck a pound in the bucket.
“We had music playing and a party atmosphere with the children riding round on their bikes. And Alasdair made posters of London landmarks to put around the route.
“It was actually my slowest marathon at five hours and 42 minutes because of all the time I spent explaining to people what I was doing and why I was dressed as a pint of beer!”
And Kellie didn’t let the lockdown interfere with her usual marathon traditions. She saved a precious bag of pasta for her carb-loading the previous night, and Alasdair continued his tradition of eating a full English breakfast as she ran – just in the garden rather than in a London café.
Kellie, 37, is on a mission to run 100 marathons by the time she is 70 and has now ticked off 11.
She took up running only after the birth of her youngest child as a way to improve her fitness and ran her first marathon when Angus was just five months old.
“I loved the atmosphere and buzz of the marathon. I do it for two reasons – to raise money and to inspire my children. Having three little ones myself, I wanted to help a children’s charity and I chose Round Table Children’s Wish because it’s nice to support a small charity which does such great work but doesn’t get as much help as some of the others.
“Round Table Children’s Wish is so supportive of me, the team is lovely. I like that the wishes they grant aren’t just the big Disney trips, it can be something as simple as an iPad to help a child keep in touch with their friends while they’re having to miss school.
“I can’t imagine running the London marathon for any other charity and I’m going to carry on supporting them.”
Kellie has raised around £5,000 in total for Round Table Children’s Wish and this year alone her efforts have already raised around £1400.
Over the last 30 years RTCW has helped make wishes come true for many youngsters and their families all over the country.
The charity’s director Karen Winchcombe said: “Kellie is amazing and she’s an inspiration to us all. We’re so grateful to her for raising so much money for us to help poorly children.
“Our wishes work might be on hold at the moment because of Covid-19 but we’ll be making more wishes come true as soon as we’re able – and we rely solely on our fantastic fundraisers like Kellie to raise the money to make it possible.”
Anyone wanting to support Kellie’s efforts can donate at www.justgiving.com/fundraising/kellieclark100marathons
You can learn more about the work of Round Table Children’s Wish at www.rtcw.org.
Note to reporters
Round Table Children’s wish is a national charity which grants hand-crafted wishes to children aged four to 17 with life-threatening illnesses.
Round Table Children’s Wish,
857 Wimborne Road,
Tel: 01202 514515
Media information: Debbie Moore, Deep South Media on 01202 534487. Email: Debbie.firstname.lastname@example.org