Meet Sarah, a keen ultramarathon runner who tackles a challenge each year to raise money for Family Fund. So far, Sarah has completed the Coniston half and full marathon, as well as the Durham Dales 31 miles for Family Fund. 2020 shaped up to be a little different, but Sarah still managed to fit in her fundraising challenge!

“I have a little boy with severe physical disabilities,” Sarah explained. “Family Fund was recommended to me by his paediatrician when he was a baby and we received a grant for him. Having benefited first hand from the fantastic work that Family Fund does, I wanted to give something back.”

In the summer of 2020, when her planned ultramarathon events were cancelled, Sarah was determined to keep fundraising. “There was a Dixons Carphone Virtual Race to the Stones organised where you had just one week to complete either a half marathon, a full marathon, or 100km distance. I decided to combine this challenge with Family Fund’s 100km of Summer virtual event.

“Motivation was easy – I had a lot of support through sponsorship, and Family Fund means so much to me through knowing what a huge difference it makes to people’s lives. Plus, I could legitimately eat shed loads of food whilst doing so much running!

“I also just loved the long training days with my ever willing Labrador, Trigger. He's done up to 26 miles with me. Although he will have ran further than me because he was off his lead the whole time!

“I've really enjoyed doing virtual races during lockdown. I love the fact that you can choose your own route, go when it fits in with the rest of family life, and still get a medal at the end!

“I'm really hoping that the Ultramarathons I was hoping to do this year will be on next year. If not, I'll do another virtual running challenge. Trigger, my Labrador, now has a young apprentice, Herbie. He's training him well on our walks so far! It won’t be long until he can start running with us too!”

Thinking about a challenge to raise money for Family Fund?

Sarah recommended that you “choose a challenge that will really push you, but is doable. Always remember why you're doing it and really enjoy the journey!”

When it comes to fundraising, Sarah suggested that you “plug your sponsorship page at every opportunity.” Sarah set up a JustGiving page and posted the link on Facebook.

“I kept my sponsors updated on my mileage and put photos up of my runs. I trail run, so lots of gorgeous photo opportunities!

“I also made sure I thanked everyone when they sponsored me and I kept reminding them of the difference a grant makes to a family.”

With her determination and the fantastic support of her family and friends, Sarah fundraised an incredible £370. This is vital support that will help families raising disabled and seriously ill children and young people across the UK. We couldn’t be more grateful for Sarah’s hard work.

Find out how you can try something new, push yourself and show your support.