THE London Marathon has been recreated in a Uttoxeter church – raising thousands for the town’s food bank. Dorothy Waddington, 56, was set to take part in the national event on Sunday, but instead ran the full 26.2 miles inside the sanctuary at Renew Church, Uttoxeter. Her efforts have raised more than £2,000 for the church’s food bank in three days.
Dorothy only decided to tackle the challenge on Friday last week, giving herself less than 48 hours to prepare for the feat. A seasoned fund-raiser, Dorothy took part in last year’s London Marathon for Meningitis Now and, because she finished the course in over seven hours, was invited to take up a free place at this year’s event due to issues with the management of the later part of last year’s race.
She said: “It was a completely free place this year, so I had no commitment as to who I ran it for. I thought I’d do something for the church as they also support the One-by-One charity, so I put up two links on Facebook. Then the marathon was postponed to October 4, so it went on the back burner and I forgot about it really. Last week I started thinking ‘I should be doing the marathon this weekend’ and kept wondering what I could be doing.”
Dorothy has been helping at the food bank run by Renew Church Uttoxeter, working with a team of dedicated fellow volunteers – including Peter Ratcliffe, Paul Jones, Sandra Hollingsworth, Pastor Murray and his wife, Becky – who organise parcels and delivery to those most in need.
She added: “I did some training every day in January, but when we went into lock down I’ve been counting my work with the food bank as my daily exercise. I didn’t think attempting 26 miles outside would be a good idea in the middle of the lock down, so I started to wonder if I could run it inside the church. I finally plucked up the courage to ask on Friday and it all just went from there.”
On Sunday, Dorothy, supported by her husband Tony and Pastor Matthew Murray, put pictures of London and her ‘cheer squad’ on the walls of the Sanctuary at Renew Church to help her on her 26.2 mile journey. The last mile of Dorothy’s marathon was also streamed live on the church’s social media.
Dorothy added: “It’s not a big area, it’s just a square so occasionally I ran diagonally just to change direction. A lot of the time I was on my own as well so it was hard, but once you know you’re going to do something, you just get on and do it. I didn’t expect it to take off the way it did. I’m absolutely flabbergasted that it raised so much so quickly. It’s been absolutely amazing – we’ve raised more than £2,000 in three days.
“We’ve had a fantastic amount of cash and food donations, I just hope now that people will maybe add a bag of sugar or some tinned food to their trolleys when they are shopping and donate it to the food bank.”
Dorothy completed the ‘marathon’ in seven hours and nine minutes. Her GoFundMe page is still active and accepting donations, click here.
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