Heysham woman takes on Marathon challenge for sister
Salt Ayre Leisure Centre employee Olivia Evans is donning her running shoes and taking on this year’s London Marathon on April 26.
Café assistant and avid runner Olivia, who is 20 and lives in Heysham, is running the race on behalf of The National Deaf Children’s Society, who supported her sister Erin, 10, when she was diagnosed with severe deafness in her left ear back in 2017.
“The advice and support The National Deaf Children’s Society gave to both Erin and my mum was hugely helpful in the weeks and months after diagnosis” Olivia said.
"The National Deaf Children’s Society isn’t as widely known as many other charities, but the work they do is no less important.”
Olivia started running in 2013 and has completed three half marathons to date, her most recent being in May 2019.
“I decided the next challenge had to be bigger and involve more miles so what could be bigger than the London Marathon and running for the National Deaf Children's society was the icing on the cake,” she said.
Sister Erin is thrilled that Olivia is taking on the challenge on her behalf, and said: “I’m really proud of Olivia and really happy that she is raising money to help.”
With the jump from half marathon to full being quite a big step up, Olivia is leaning on her colleagues to help with her training.
“I’ve been taking advice from my Fitness colleagues at Salt Ayre on how to build up my training in preparation for the marathon," she said.
"They have been able to advise on how to increase my stamina and ensure I am at peak fitness going into it.
"I’m a member and work out roughly four times a week at the centre, using the gym, classes and also the Immersive cycle studio to bring some variation to my training routine.
"My team mates in Refuel Café have also helped. Their advice and support has been invaluable in helping me get ready and confident going into the race.”
If running a marathon wasn’t enough of a challenge, Olivia has a target of raising £1,800 for the charity before she even gets there:
“Anything that people would be willing to give, no matter how big or small, or even a share on social media to help me get the word out would be a massive help in reaching my goal of supporting the National Deaf Children's society in this way," she said.
Salt Ayre Leisure Centre general manager Rachel Williams, said: “We are extremely proud of Olivia and the lengths she is going to support her sister and such a fantastic charity.
"We hope all of our wonderful customers will support her cause where possible. We’ll be sending her down to London with a whole load of Team Salt Ayre support and encouragement.”
To donate to Olivia’s cause, visit her fundraising page here and there is also a collection bucket in Refuel Café at Salt Ayre Leisure Centre.