Three years ago Buncrana woman Louise Friel wouldn’t have dreamt of running 26.2 miles in the London Marathon.
That all changed when she finally decided to quit smoking and take up running.
Louise is now a seasoned runner having taken part in the Derry marathon last year and the London marathon on Sunday.
And she’s throwing her weight behind the Foyle Hospice Female Walk/Run which takes place on June 7.
“I had a brilliant experience running in London,” said Louise.
“Although I had always been active I only really started running when I stopped smoking and joined the Inishowen AC Club.
“I had done boot camps and walked a lot before but running was so different.
“The club was brilliant because they worked with people of all different levels.
“I soon learned that when I was running myself I was killing myself. In the clubs they train you to run properly and to pace yourself.”
Louise decided to sign up for the Foyle Hospice marathon team last year after being encouraged by a friend.
“I jumped at the idea,” she said. “And we set to fundraising. A lot of people supported us and we held a lot of events such as coffee mornings and a disco.”
Louise said she’s hoping to take part in the Foyle female Walk/Run this year with her mum, who has also caught the exercise bug.
“I think it is just brilliant to see all the women out, whether they are walking or running. They are all at different levels but they are doing it together.
“I’d say to people who have never done it before to give it a go.”
As many women as possible are asked to come out on June 7 to help the charity reach that magic number of 5,000.
The charity is asking as many people as possible to consider getting sponsored to help raise much needed funds,
Be part of the 5,000
The Foyle Hospice Female Walk/Run will take place on Sunday 7th June 2015 at 1:30pm. The route is approximately 3 miles. Entry is £7 per person. Entry and sponsorship forms are available from Foyle Hospice, 61 Culmore Road, Telephone 028 71359888 or at the Foyle Hospice Shop, Waterloo Place. Further details can also be found on the Foyle Hospice website www.foylehospice.com