Thursday, 05 August 2021

Ex-volunteer to run marathon for Riding for the Disabled

Ex-volunteer to run marathon for Riding for the Disabled

A FORMER volunteer at Wyfold Riding for the Disabled will take part in the Brighton marathon next month to raise money for the charity.

Liz Jones, 56, who helped out at the charity from 2012 to 2015, hopes to make £1,500.

She said: “The bond between man and horse has been well documented but to see the unique way that these gentle animals inspire riders of all ages is heartwarming and humbling.

“My own love of horses helped make the volunteering side a pleasure and the volunteers are such a lovely group of people.”

Mrs Jones, who lives in Henley, where she is the town council’s accountant, has been training for the race on Sunday, April 9 with a series of long distance runs.

Earlier this month she completed the Reading half marathon in one hour, 40 minutes, missing her personal best for the distance by three seconds.

She said: “As with all these events it’s not the result that matters, it’s the taking part and I constantly thank my lucky stars that I am fit and healthy enough to be even thinking about it.

“Such endurance events are about overcoming fears and demons and when the going gets really tough in the last 6.2 miles I will be thinking about my friends at the RDA and drawing inspiration from what I have experienced there.”

Mrs Jones, who took part in the London Marathon in 2001, finishing in four hours and three minutes, added: “My aim is to beat four hours and prove that, 16 years on, age is no barrier!

“As the Riding for the Disabled motto says, ‘it’s what you can do that counts’ and that applies to us all!”

She hopes to go back to volunteering when she has fewer work commitments.

“I miss the contact but especially I miss seeing riders of all ages grow in confidence and ability each week,” she said. “In the meantime I am helping by raising funds. Horses are expensive to keep and the RDA relies entirely on funds raised by the public. I am delighted to be able to give something back for the two wonderful years I experienced as a volunteer.”

Gill Rushworth, fund-raiser for the charity, said: “We are very proud of Lizzie and delighted that she has chosen us as her charity.

“The money raised will pay for some new riding hats which we have to buy in line with new safety regulations and also towards some new fencing. All the paddock fencing has to be renewed and this will cost around £7,500.”

To donate, visit https://mydonate.

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