A ticket operative for Great Northern at Huntingdon Railway Station is to take on the biggest challenge of her life by marching five marathons in five days for charity.
Lorraine Weights, 57, from Ramsey will be taking part in The Forces March from May 20–24 to raise funds for The Veterans Charity.
Lorraine, who last trained for a big event when she entered the London Marathon in 2012, may find the 139-mile trek from Ilfracombe in Dorset to Bulford in Wiltshire a little daunting. She has been training since last September, though, by walking several times a week, with her personal best being 20 miles in one go. The course is quite hilly, so Lorraine has also been working out at the gym twice a week for the past few weeks.
“This will without doubt be the biggest challenge I have ever undertaken,” said Lorraine. “I am not a runner or an athlete in any way, but have the motivation to succeed.”
She also admitted: “I’m getting quite nervous now. I’ve never done anything like this before, so I don’t know what to expect. All I can do is give it my best shot.”
The challenge attracts many teams from the forces, emergency services and ultra-marathon runners, but people of all abilities, including walkers, take part every year. The route takes competitors through spectacular scenery, including Exmoor, the Quantock Hills and Salisbury Plain.
The Forces Charity was set up in 2008 to provide support for ex-servicemen and women with clothing and household items, as well as food shopping and IT equipment like laptops and mobile phones. And this is the sixth Forces March it has organised.
Lorraine served in the Woman’s Royal Army Corps for three and a half years, as did her mum in the 1950s and her dad served in the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers for 24 years.
With such close links to the services, it’s easy to understand why Lorraine would want to support the charity, but it’s a cause that is especially dear to her heart. When her 83-year-old mother fell and broke her pelvis two years ago, they supplied an electric rise and recline chair within 48 hours.
“I decided to take on the challenge of The Forces March to raise funds for a very worthy case,” said Lorraine, “and to help in some small way to give something back to our forces veterans.
Lorraine has already raised more than £1,100 towards her target of £1,500 and has a couple of other fundraising events planned before the big event. She will be running a book and cake stall at the station on Tuesday, May 12 and undertaking a charity bucket collection there the following day.
It’s also possible to donate via www.justgiving.com/Lorraine-Weights/ or by texting LWFM57 to 70070 to give up to £10.