A CHARITY fundraiser, who ran up a marathon amount for a local hospice after taking part in the world’s most famous road race, has her sights set on another big event.

Runner Shelly Allan completed the London Marathon in a time of five hours, 36 minutes and 11 seconds, raising in excess of £4,500 for St Teresa’s Hospice, Darlington.

Now Shelly, of Darlington, who began running just two years ago after giving up smoking, is in training for the Great North Run later this year.

The 40-year-old said: “The marathon was amazing, hard work but amazing. I ran the Great North Run last year for St Teresa’s and when they were offered a place in this year’s London Marathon they asked me if I would do it.

“I was a little hesitant at first but I’m so glad that I agreed. It was one of the most incredible things I have ever done in my life and that, coupled with supporting such a fantastic charity, made the whole day incredibly special.”

As manager of The Quakerhouse, Darlington, Shelly has also been involved in a raft of fundraising projects for the hospice over the years including music weekends, Christmas card donations, pub raffles, sponsored miles and charity box collections, which in total have raised thousands of pounds for the Darlington, South Durham and North Yorkshire charity.

“We recently had six casks of beer donated, from different breweries which we called St Teresa’s Tipple and all the proceeds were presented to the hospice,” said Shelly.

“St Teresa’s is such an important part of Darlington. There can’t be anyone in the town who doesn’t know someone, either a family member, friend, or colleague, who has been touched by cancer or the incredible work that the hospice does.

“My aunty Anne passed away from cancer and my daughter’s best friend Clare, who was looked after at St Teresa’s, also lost her battle with cancer last year aged just 32. Clare was a keen runner and I could hear her voice in my head when I was asked to run the marathon saying ‘just do it’.”

After her legs have recovered she plans to start training for the Great North Run in September.

She said: “I’ll have to get round the course in record time this year as it is Blues Weekend in Darlington on the same day, which is one of our busiest times at The Quakerhouse.

“Marathons are hard work and to be asked by St Teresa’s to represent them is a real honour. But in the grand scheme of things nothing is as hard as battling cancer which makes every step I take and every penny raised for the hospice so worthwhile.”

You can sponsor Shelly at her Virgin Money Giving Page:

http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fundraiser-web/fundraiser/showFundraiserPage.action?userUrl=ShellyAllan&faId=778024&isTeam=false