Two inspirational woman who have overcome huge obstacles in their lives successfully completed their biggest challenge to date and raised £2,000 for a worthwhile cause.
Liz Sharples (48), of Barrow, and Pauline Byers (56), of Bamber Bridge, put their best foot forward to run four full marathons in just four days to raise funds and awareness for the Cystic Fibrosis Trust.
The women, who are both members of the running group – Running4CF – set out from Cockerham in the Lake District and ran back to the club’s headquarters in Billington via Keswick, Grasmere, Ambleside, Staveley, Kendal, Kirby Lonsdale, Hellifield, Bolton-by-Bowland, Sawley and Clitheroe.
Liz and Pauline said they were overwhelmed by the amount of people who joined the duo to run the last few miles.
Liz commented: “It’s been absolutely exhausting, but rewarding at the same time. We are two ordinary women having done something extraordinary and it just shows that anyone can do anything they wish if they put their minds to it.
“My friends think I am mad and my family are proud of me. We were amazed by the people who joined us running the last four miles.”
Liz went on to thank Rick Bryer, Bill Reade, Gary Wilkinson and Steve Johnson. She added: “If we didn’t have their support we wouldn’t have been able to do it.”
A former factory worker Liz started running about six years ago after suffering from weight issues and depression.
“I got into running and since then I haven’t looked back,” said Liz, who is now studying full-time at Blackburn College for a foundation degree in sports coaching and performance. “Sport has given me something to look forward to and has changed my life,” added Liz, who works part-time at Up and Running in Clitheroe. During her running career, Liz has already completed three marathons, a triathlon and a duathlon. A former member of Accrington Road Runners, Liz is also a member of the committee responsible for organising a junior parkrun for Clitheroe.
Pauline, who is a housekeeper at Stanley House at Mellor, and takes the three milers as well as the improvers group for Running4CF, got into running six years ago after being diagnosed with breast cancer just over a decade ago. She initially completed the Great Yorkshire 10k and has gone on to run fell races and ultramarathons including the Canalathon three times.
Diagnosed with breast cancer for a second time three years ago, mother-of-two and grandmother-of-four Pauline said: “The marathons challenge went really well - better than we expected.
“It was tough in some places, but we thoroughly enjoyed it and as Liz mentioned, we were delighted and overwhelmved by the support of fellow runners who joined us in the last few miles. I would like to thank all the people and clubs that have supported us, but especially cystic fibrosis sufferer Amelia Dickinson, who is always raising awareness and money for the charity.”
Pauline added: “Running has given me a new lease of life, but I also do it to keep me healthy as the medicine that I’m on could give me brittle bones. I broke my foot over the weekend, but I am hoping to make a quick recovery and run the 10k race in Valencia soon.”