YVONNE Morton is bracing herself for a mammoth challenge as she prepares to run two marathons in the space of a week.
Yvonne, 46, from Cricklade, is running the 52 miles in support of her dad, Ken, 70, who has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.
“He was diagnosed three years ago,” said Yvonne.
“He has got a form of dementia that can be mixed up with Alzheimer’s.
“It took about a year to diagnose him and then another year to get him on the right medication.
“Because he has got the symptoms of dementia, he will get on the bus and forget where he is going.
“He has the trembles and will have trouble getting his bus pass out.”
Yvonne has run marathons before, but is slightly daunted at the prospect of back-to-back events as she has signed up for the Brighton and London marathons in April.
“I have run three Brighton marathons before but have never stretched myself to two in a week,” she said.
“I have always wanted to do the London Marathon, and have been rejected when I applied in the past.
“This year I thought it was now or never, so I approached Parkinsons UK to run for them and managed to get accepted.
“The minimum they require you to raise for the London Marathon is £1,900, so that has to be my target.
“It is £100 just to pay for your place. It is quite a high figure, and in some ways I agree with it.
“But in order to run the Brighton Marathon you only have to raise £500, so it is a bit steep, but London is very popular.”
Yvonne is staging a series of fundraising events in the coming months to help her reach her target.
“At the moment I am trying to set up a man waxing event at the Eight Bells pub where I work in Fairford,” she said. “ “There will be a quiz night at the United Church hall on 1 March from 6.45pm onwards, and there will be cake sales as well.
“I have chocoholics events planned for February 17 at the pub, and another for February 20 at the church.
“There is a guess the number of sweets challenge running at work, which has already raised more than £150.
“And there are a few people coming forward with prizes to donate for raffles.”
Training has already begun in earnest.
“I am running 20 miles plus on my long runs at the moment, and shorter distances five times a week,” said Yvonne.
“I am up at the crack of dawn at 6.30am and out the door by 7.30am. Even just the one marathon takes a lot of recovery afterwards, so it is quite scary.
“There is about £450 raised so far so I still have a long way to go.
“More people start giving when you have actually done it.”
Despite a chocolate theme running through her fundraising events, Yvonne is not worried about the effect on her fitness.
“You can get away with eating a little bit more when you are in training,” she said.
“It is not a time to think about losing weight.”
To donate to Parkinson’s UK visit Yvonne’s fundraising page at www.virginmoneygiving.com/yvonnemorton