An admin worker and former riding school manager from Westgate will take on a gruelling 100 mile run to raise funds for an all-terrain wheelchair for a family friend.
Justine Flett will take on the Samphire 100 this weekend (March 9-10) – an endurance run of 27 times around a 3.71 mile loop of the Samphire Hoe nature reserve.
The run will raise cash towards a Trekinetic power chair for Westgate resident Des Skelton.
Des was diagnosed with primary progress Multiple Sclerosis in 2006. Since being diagnosed his mobility has greatly deteriorated meaning he is unable to leave the house independently.
Des is determined to be independent and is desperate to be able to access the beach with his two young grandchildren.
The former kayak and bodyboarding enthusiast can’t get over the sand in a standard wheelchair so family and friends are aiming to raise £12,000 for the power chair.
Justine, 47, said: “We already have about £6,500 in the bank. The power chair will mean Des can get back out, do things with his grandchildren and will put a smile back on his face.
“It is so important to be able to get outdoors and experience all the health benefits both physically and mentally being in the fresh air brings. The Trekinetic is sturdy so its ability to cope with really difficult terrain means not only could he access areas currently unavailable to him but his confidence would improve no end knowing that the chair wouldn’t tip over.”
Justine’s run is expected to take a whopping 29 hours – competitors have to complete it in 32 hours – and will mean limited breaks and no sleep.
She has been training since October with alternating runs of 35 and then 50 miles. Justine took up running three years ago and has since completed 51 marathon and ultra-marathon events.
She said: “You have to prepare for what will happen when you run, so it is thinking about layers of clothing, what you can eat and keeping hydrated.
“You will burn 3,800 calories on a 25 mile run so you have to think about what food your body will be able to take, then there will be swollen feet and fingers and, if you are unlucky, blisters that will have to be popped!*
Justine’s challenge for Mission Des will start at 8am on Saturday with a cut off time to complete by 4pm Sunday.