Elaine hits the road running for Cancer Focus
There isn’t much time for pampering these days as beautician Elaine McAnulty hits the road running for charity.
The Banbridge athlete has taken on an amazing 20 marathons in 20 days to raise vital funds for cash-strapped charity Cancer Focus Northern Ireland.
And, the super-fit runner modestly said: “If I can do it, anyone can do it! Just keep moving and moving, and that’s it!”
Elaine decided to go for the mind-boggling challenge when she heard that Cancer Focus NI will lose 80% of its income over the next six months because of the coronavirus.
She said: “I’m partial to a marathon or two so during lockdown and missing the miles I came up with the bright idea of doing a few for Cancer Focus NI.
“Being 2020, I thought why not try to do 20 marathons in 20 days.”
The local cancer charity has furloughed most of its staff and cancelled all its fundraising events.
It has launched an emergency appeal, calling on the public to urgently make a donation to help it re-open its doors when the current crisis is over.
For now the charity can only operate a much reduced counselling and family support service for local cancer patients and their families.
Elaine, who is a familiar sight jogging along the highways and by-ways around her home town of Banbridge, has a formidable list of achievements to her name in her nine year running career and has notched up 212 official marathons to date.
The 20 she is doing for Cancer Focus NI don’t count towards her total as they are not officially organised marathons.
Two years ago she celebrated another amazing feat – completing 100 marathons in 100 weeks.
And, not only did she complete the Global Marathon Challenge within the required timeframe, she strode out in superb style to reach her century of marathons in an incredible 84 weeks.
She is now well through her latest trial and aims to complete the 20 Cancer Focus NI marathons on June 7.
Elaine said: “In the warm weather we’ve been having I’ve been lathering up with factor 50 sun-cream and try to get my runs done before 11am when it gets too warm.
“I don’t consider myself to be a very good runner, I just try to finish the distance. And it’s good fun, we’re a bunch of crazy people meeting up all the time. Over the last four years I’ve become a bit addicted.”
On her route, Elaine, who owns the Retreat Beauty Salon, is often joined by other runners for a few miles, including her husband, David, who keep her company and spur her on. Meanwhile, her social distancing mother-in-law Helen keeps a supply of cold drinks on hand for Elaine as she runs by her house.
Kathryn Holland, outdoor events manager, Cancer Focus NI, said: “We can’t thank Elaine enough for taking on this unbelievable task. We are in complete awe of her and are so grateful to her for helping us in this way and to everyone who is supporting her.” Anyone who would like to donate to Elaine’s challenge can find her on Justgiving,
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