Morpeth Harrier Lorna Macdonald completed an extraordinary 100-mile challenge in the early hours of Thursday morning last week, and in the process raised well over £1,000 for St. Oswald’s Hospice.
Army nurse Lorna had signed herself up to complete the Centurion Running Challenge, which encouraged all who did so to complete 100 miles in the course of one week.
But, never one to make life easy for herself, Lorna decided to have a go at doing so in the course of one 24-hour period.
No stranger to long distances, having been a past winner of the women’s race in the Kielder Marathon, Lorna had previously completed a 76 mile ‘longest night’ run to raise money for Shelter in 2018 but even she admitted that her latest challenge was ‘ridiculous’ and ‘crazy’.
Supported by family, friends and club colleagues, she began on Wednesday morning with some speedy laps of Coopies Lane Industrial Estate but, after a good 30 or so miles – already over full marathon distance – ran into some problems with back pain.
Never one to be deterred, she gritted her teeth, pushed herself through the pain barrier and ran on into the night, moving to loops of Lancaster Park and the Stanners. With only occasional breaks for the toilet, a change of clothes and a refuel, while the rest of the town slept, she drove herself on, tweeting only after 70 miles, ’13 hours 15 minutes since I started. Good god. Sos.’
Day break saw her within sight of the 100 miles however, which she completed after 20 hours 28 minutes, well within her original 24 hour target.
Extraordinarily, excluding breaks she ran at an average of just over 10 minute miles, with a fastest mile of 7 minutes 41 seconds and a slowest of only 11m 52 s, recording 173,058 steps and burning some 12, 367 calories into the process.
Describing her run as ‘hands down THE hardest thing I’ve ever done’, her determination to complete the challenge came as no surprise to members of her loyal family or many supporters who have witnessed her mental toughness and huge aptitude for training over the years.
Conscious of how the charity sector has been badly hit during the current Covid-19 crisis, Lorna had set herself the task of raising £500 for St. Oswald’s Hospice, but has easily surpassed her original target, raising nearly £1,500 for the work of the hospice so far.
Contributions can still be made via her dedicated Just Giving page.