The glorious scenery is a huge draw for over 10,000 runners expected to descend on October’s Bournemouth Marathon Festival. But one runner will resist even the slightest glimpse of the Dorset sands for every step of the 26.2 mile course.
Kerry Whitney is set to tackle the course blindfolded, but for good reason. Bournemouth will be the 13th of 15 marathons in 15 months she is taking part in to raise funds for Sense. It will also be the only other marathon she is running blindfold, after London in April, during her challenge which started in Berlin last year.
The 34 year old has been inspired from her job working in the offices at Ickburgh School in Hackney, East London. She explains: “I work in a school for children with multiple learning difficulties. We’ve got many children who have visual and hearing impairments. There is a charity called Sense who come in and support the children.
“I decided after that I wanted to really challenge myself. I knew by doing that it would really help me raise more for Sense. I can see how that money really helps our children at the school and other children and adults in a similar situation.”
She said Bournemouth was foremost in her thoughts when plotting her multiple marathon attempt. “I follow a lot of runners on Instagram who I chat to quite a lot on there – there’s a really good support community. I just noticed lots of people putting their Bournemouth Marathon pictures on there and telling other runners it is really good. I’m not going to lie – the medal caught my eye too. That’s always a deal-breaker. I have friends in Bournemouth too and they tell me it’s a nice race.”
A friend assisted her in London and could be on hand to talk her through Bournemouth again this October. “I’d like the same helper,” says Kerry. “She enjoyed it more than she thought she would. The funny thing is that I have lots of people now wanting to support me as my helper. But first and foremost, it will have to be Abbie.”
To sponsor Kerry’s 15 in 15 challenge, visit her fundraising page.
The Bournemouth Marathon Festival (BMF) will take place on 3-4 October. This will be the third year of the event which has quickly established itself as one of the UK’s premier running weekends. To guarantee your place, visit the event website.
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