Claire sets herself a marathon challenge

Claire Kelly is aiming for 12 marathons in 12 months.
Claire Kelly is aiming for 12 marathons in 12 months.

An Alford mother-of-three has set herself the daunting challenge of running 12 marathons in 12 months in memory of her uncle, who died from Motor Neurone Disease.

Claire Kelly, 32, is at the halfway point in her bid to raise money for MND Scotland.

The biggest challenge is finding the time to train and making sure it doesn’t interfere with the time I spend with my kids

Claire Kelly Marathon Runner

Her uncle, Dominic Byrne, from County Laois in Ireland, died from the neurological condition in October last year.

Claire, who has three sons, Lachlan, 5, Adam, 3, and Jacob, 15 months, began running marathons back in December, 2009.

She said, “Although I had been sponsored to run, fundraising had never been my specific goal. I had three marathons already under my belt when we found out about my uncle’s diagnosis.

“I thought about it often. I distinctly remember a sunny evening bathing my sons, thinking about my next marathon.

“Loch Ness Marathon 2013 was coming up the following month and I thought ‘I should put some effort into fundraising and this would go a little way towards helping beat MND.’”

Following her uncle’s death, Claire decided to aim for a marathon a month attempt.

She explained: “I’ve decided to run a marathon a month until Dublin 2016 in October. The biggest challenge is finding the time to train and making sure it doesn’t interfere with the time I spend with my kids. I also have my own sports therapy business. So it’s all about juggling my time.”

Her fundraising total has already passed her target and sits at £1300.

Claire added: “It will be a fitting tribute to have my final marathon in Ireland.

“One of the things I regret is not getting to spend more time with my uncle, so this is something I can do now to give back.”

Iain McWhirter, head of fundraising and volunteering at MND Scotland, said, “We’d like to thank Claire for choosing to support MND Scotland. Running 12 marathons in 12 months is no mean feat and we wish Claire the very best of luck in completing this challenge.”