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Hayley smashes London Marathon for charity

A Tameside woman has taken to the streets of London to raise more than £500 for a fantastic cause. 

Hayley Simpson, from Stalybridge, took part in the London Marathon in late April to help raise funds for local charity, The Believe and Achieve Trust. 

The charity, which enters its 10th anniversary this year, helps those with disabilities engage in sport, while raising awareness of meningitis. 

It was set up in memory of local man Alex Williams, who sadly passed away with the illness back in 2012. 

Having attended college at a similar time to Alex, The Believe and Achieve Trust has always been a charity close to Hayley’s heart.

“It was always in the back of my mind that if I ever got the chance to run in the London Marathon, that I would run in honour of Alex, and I’m so glad I finally have,” she said. 

The 28-year-old is no stranger to these types of events, having completed the Manchester Marathon last year, as well as the Mossley 10k, but she said this was one of her toughest events yet. 

“It was a mixture of emotions throughout, I tried to take it all in and enjoy it as much as I could but mentally it was very tough.” 

Hayley said the race went better than she expected, managing to complete the feat in just over three hours and 20 minutes. 

“I set an aim of around 3:20 but I had no idea how I’d do. I looked at my watch on mile three and didn’t look at it again until I’d finished so I was amazed at my final time.” 

Though Hayley is a keen athlete, who often runs with East Cheshire Harriers Running Club, she still had to put in an awful lot of work to ensure she was ready for this race.

“From January I was doing six days of running, with lighter stuff in the week and a longer run over the weekend, just to get that consistency. 

“It was tough, but it really helps having a club to run with. I have been with East Cheshire for 22 years now and it’s become my life. 

“The social aspect is so important especially with longer runs. They go so much quicker when you’re with other people, and if you’re having a bad day they’re there to pick you up.” 

Before the race, Hayley set up a JustGiving page, with the aim of raising £200 for The Believe and Achieve Trust. 

This target was smashed before the event even began, and the total now stands at a whopping £525. 

Donations are still being taken on the page, so if you’d like to donate, visit: www.justgiving.com/page/hayley-simpson-1704278968412 

Hayley’s next upcoming event will be this year’s edition of The Tour, the four-day event which gets underway on June 13. 

Having taken part in The Tour in the past, Hayley can’t wait to give it another go.

“I’ve been putting it off for the last two years but I couldn't make it three in a row," she said.

“I’m definitely going to put my name down for this year and I can’t wait to be at that start line.” 

If you would like to join Hayley at this year’s Tour, you can book your place here: 

www.letsdothis.com/o/quest-events-155007?utm_organiser_id=155007 

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