Maria Mann is preparing to run her fourth, and final marathon, before being forced to give up running because of illness.
She is getting ready for the London Marathon next weekend, Sunday, April 28, and, while she is finding the training tough, is determined to complete the challenge.
Maria, who runs The Beauty Spot, in New Town, Uckfield, has fibromyalgia, a chronic condition which causes widespread pain and profound fatigue, and that means she hasn’t done as much training as she would normally.
But she runs between 4am and 6am each day, so she is there for her children when they wake up, and has already successfully completed Brighton and Hastings half-marathons this year and done a 20-mile training run.
Now her sights are set on raising as much money as possible for St Peter and St James Hospice next weekend.
Sponsorship of £775 – £916.25 with gift aid – has already been promised via her virginmoneygiving.com page and she has raised another £1,000 through raffles at work.
Businesswoman of the Year
Maria, who was named Uckfield Businesswoman of the Year at business awards organised by Uckfield Chamber of Commerce in November, took up running five years ago.
She had just had her youngest son and found the running helped control anxiety.
Since then she has clocked up 15 half marathons, in addition to the three marathons, raising about £6,000 for charity.
St Peter and St James Hospice
Her first marathon was for St Peter and St James Hospice where people who have been special to her were looked after in their final days.
The next two marathons were London and Beachy Head, where she raised funds for a friend’s son who has a rare form of epilepsy and was going through 400 seizures a month.
The aim was to enable them to travel to Holland and get medical cannabis. The boy is now one of the only children in the UK to have a prescription for medical cannabis and it is helping him. He has had only three cluster seizures in a year.
Maria told Uckfield News: “I then had to stop running due to being diagnosed with fibromyalgia and being really poorly.
“But I was 40 this year and wanted to give myself one last challenge before I give up running for good.”
If you would like to boost Maria’s fund-raising efforts please visit her virginmoneygiving.com page.