IT was far from ideal conditions, but a Morpeth riding instructor was determined to run 26 miles to raise funds for a very talented rider.
Sophie Hurrell-Day, Lead Instructor at the Pegasus Centre in Tranwell, completed the Edinburgh Marathon in five hours and 41 minutes.
The conditions for Sophie and the 27,000 other runners taking part in the race were very difficult as temperatures for most of the race were around 25 degrees centigrade.
But she stayed strong and finished the course. This helped her to collect more than £300 for champion para-dressage rider Gayle Bloomfield, who represents the Morpeth Group of the Riding for the Disabled Association (RDA).
“I enjoyed doing the Great North Run last year and thought why not do a marathon?” she said.
“I didn’t realise how hard it was going to be and on the day it was very hot. Although the course was close to the Firth of Forth there was very little by way of a cooling breeze.
“Thankfully, the organisers did a good job and provided lots of water stations. Also, some residents along the route brought out their hosepipes to shower us.
“I kept going because it was important to finish the race as I was raising money for Gayle. The last mile was the best as I knew I was almost there.
“We’re trying to support her as much as we can because she hopes to work her way up to compete in the 2016 Paralympics in Rio.
“I am really pleased to have raised this money, however it is not too late if people want to support Gayle – they can still make a donation via her website www.gayle-bloomfield-dressage.co.uk”
Sophie was supported during the race by friends and supporters from the Pegasus Centre, including Emily and Zoe Froggatt, Vikki Scott and Jack Mordue.
Already national champion in the Restricted Grade 2 Class at the Winter National Championships, Gayle is hoping to do well in the Para-Championships at Hickstead and at the RDA National Championships in Gloucestershire this summer.