Mum hits the ground running for local charity LinkAble

CHARITY runner Kim Owens is taking on one of her biggest challenges yet with plans to tackle the London Marathon race distance by running the full 26.2 miles around her garden and driveway.

The big-hearted mum-of-two, who was due to take part in this year’s now-postponed London Marathon, is putting her best foot forward in a bid to raise vital funds for LinkAble, a Woking-based charity which supports children and adults with learning disabilities.

Kim Owens with husband Jamie and sons Willem and Harry

Undeterred and having spent the last four months training and raising funds towards her £3,000 fundraising target, Kim, who lives in Bisley, felt that she still had to do something on the original race day of Sunday 26 April.

“After training for the London Marathon for 12 weeks, I decided to finish the training and mark the event by running the full 26.2 miles in my garden while sticking to my fundraising pledge for LinkAble, which is a charity close to my family’s heart,” Kim said.

“My youngest son Willem (9) was diagnosed with autism when he was six years old. A happy and charismatic little boy, my husband Jamie and I still have, like any parents, concerns for his future as he gets older.

Kim Owens and her son Willem collecting money for LinkAble at Waitrose in Goldsworth Park

“We worry about social exclusion, his mental wellbeing and how independent he might be in the years to come. I’m running for Willem and for his brother Harry who is an amazing carer, and all the other children and adults with a learning disability which LinkAble supports.”

She knows it is going to be hard work: “It’s going to be blooming tough,” she said. “The loop around my garden is only 160 metres, so that’s 262 or so laps I need to do.

Despite the challenges of the current restrictions, Kim remains upbeat.

“My photography business is closed for the foreseeable future, but luckily my husband is able to do his job from home,” she said.

“The extra time on my hands has been completely taken up home schooling my two boys and although social distancing is hard, we’ve found many positives – more time together as a family, a greater appreciation for nature, what’s on our doorstep and a slower pace of life.”

Kim, who has worked in Woking all her life and grew up in Horsell, is appealing for fundraising support at https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fundraiser-display/showROFundraiserPage?userUrl=KimmyOwens&pageUrl=1

She also plans to livestream the event on her Facebook page on race day which can be viewed here: https://bit.ly/2S58UhB

Rhys Parker, Fundraising and Communications Manager for LinkAble said:

“From the first time I met Kim, she has blown us all away with her commitment to not only her training, but her fundraising too. She is such a great advocate for LinkAble and we are so proud of what she has already achieved. I have no doubt that she will rise to the challenge this weekend and complete the marathon distance at home.”

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