A STUDENT is half-way through her challenge to run 100 miles in one year in a bid to raise money for the charity which supported her dad battle a disease for two years.
Grace Gibson, 21, from Chichester, completed the Chichester half marathon on Sunday – her sixth out of 11 challenges she aims to complete before May – in aid of Crohn’s and Colitis UK.
She took on the task after watching her father Mark battle ulcerative colitis for two years before undergoing a six-hour surgery to remove the affected organ this year.
“It’s pretty tough but it’s no way near as tough as having Crohn’s or colitis,” Grace said. “People say I’m crazy, but it’s a lot easier than going through the disease.”
Grace first found her passion for running when she and Mark trained for and ran the Bognor 10k race together in 2012, shortly before he was diagnosed.
She said: “We planned to run the Great South Run, but then he got ill.”
Her 11th race will be a 5k fun run in May which her mum and dad intend to join.
Her boyfriend Pete Bird has run almost all the races with her. As a final year student on a radiography course at Liverpool University, Grace has struggled to find time to train in between her studies and hospital placements.
With her first full marathon taking place in Manchester in April, she has been trying to train as often as she can.
She said: “It’s pretty tiring.
“You don’t feel like going for a run when you’ve been on your feet all day so I have to get up before I start work.
“I’m feeling a little bit nervous.
“I’ve done a couple of half marathons so just imagining double that is quite hard.”
So far Grace has raised about £300 toward her £1,000 fundraising target.
Her next challenge will be the 5km Santa dash in Liverpool.
The money raised will go toward helping fund research into treatments and providing support to sufferers of the disease.
To donate to Grace’s cause, visit www.justgiving.com/gracegibson100miles
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