A Clayton-le-Woods woman has completed 100 parkruns in 100 days to raise funds for homeless charity Shelter.Advertisement
Ramona Joy Mulligan started the challenge on 1 April, just after lockdown began, to help her mental wellbeing.
Ramona, who has been taking part in Cuerden Valley Park parkruns since the first-ever event in 2013, said: “At the start of the year I took part in RED January for the charity MIND. I ran every day for my own mental health and the mental health of others.
“I had taken part in 2019 too, but this year it helped me get through the grief of losing my mother in August. I was also suffering from anxiety, panic attacks and post-traumatic stress.
“I found that running every day helped save me so I decided to start parkrunning for daily exercise, which has helped my mental health, physical fitness and wellbeing so much. It also helps me manage my type 1 diabetes.”
After completing her 50th parkrun in 50 days – running 500km in total – Ramona decided she would start fundraising.
She said: “I had a charity place for Shelter at Great Manchester Run, which was cancelled due to coronavirus. I set up a JustGiving page with the aim to run 100 parkruns in 100 days so that I could help the homeless and those facing homelessness during the pandemic.
“I’ve been running for seven years now, as I believe keeping active is essential for our wellbeing. I’m not a fast runner, but I have a big heart and the strong desire to keep going.”
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Californian Ramona moved to England to marry the “man of her dreams”, after they became pen pals in 2003 through a shared love of Bruce Springsteen.
She said: “I am so thankful that my family in the UK and in the USA are safe at home, but others aren’t so fortunate. In Britain today, 4,750 people sleep on the streets on any given night and 90,000 households are stuck in unsuitable temporary accommodation, such as homeless hostels.
“I hope that all of the energy I have put into running every day will do something positive, not only for my own mental health and wellbeing but to help the homeless.”
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On completing her 100th run on Thursday (9 July), Ramona said she felt “nothing but joy”.
She said: “When I started running every day in January my heart was filled with sorrow, but RED January saved me and inspired me to do this challenge, and now I feel nothing but joy!
“It has been such a wonderful journey and I’m going to keep going, but I’m doing it for me and also to raise awareness of the charity MIND and the RED community who helped me through my darkest days. I see nothing but light now, and it shines so bright.”
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Ramona has so far raised over £600 for Shelter. To donate, visit her JustGiving page.
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What do you think of Ramona’s efforts? Let us know in the comments.