A Bury Times reporter is set to swap the cold, damp streets of Bolton for the warm, dusty tracks of Torrevieja in Spain to take part in the town’s half marathon.
Alison Barton has been following a 12-week training programme in preparation for the race on February 26.
She is raising money for the Royal Manchester Children’s hospital, which helped save the life of her eight-year-old nephew Ben in 1998.
Alison, who has also worked for the Bolton Evening News, said: “My boyfriend’s mum and dad live in Torrevieja and when we were there last year I was reading the local paper which mentioned that the race was held every February.
“I thought it would be nice to do it and have a holiday at the same time. A half-marathon seemed like the next step after the 10km run I did last.”
Alison, (26), has set herself a target time of two-and-a-quarter hours to cover the 13.1-mile distance and said she has already raised about £500 – with more donations still to come.
She said: “Road running is something I have taken up in my spare time, on and off, since May 2004.
“I’ve even packed my trainers in my suitcase and taken them on holiday to Torrevieja a couple of times, and as I plodded around the dusty paths in the sunshine I had the idea about tackling something bigger than a 5km or 10km race.
“I have taken part in a couple of shorter races before, including the ‘Race for Life’ for Cancer Research, but the hospital is a charity close to my heart.”
“In 1998, staff there cared for my eldest nephew, Ben, who is now eight, after surgeons had to perform a lifesaving operation on him when his bowel twisted inside him, almost cutting off his blood supply.
“If it hadn’t been for the efficiency of the staff and rapid care, it is certain he would have died. I would like to give something back to the hospital so they can help other children like Ben.”
Anyone can sign up to sponsor Alison by visiting www.justgiving.com.