Teen completes marathon challenge following serious injury
- Credit: Archant
A teenager has completed the challenge of running seven marathons in seven weeks – a year after suffering serious leg injuries in a sporting accident.
Lily Smith needed complex surgery in May last year, after suffering a severe tri fracture to her right tibia and growth plate which led to her being in a full leg plaster cast for seven weeks.
The high school student made a full recovery and with her family “forever indebted” to the care she received at the James Paget University Hospital in Gorleston they decided they wanted to give something back to the NHS.
So, a year on from her accident, Lily and her mum Julie set out to complete seven marathons in seven weeks – as they ran the 26.2-mile distance of a marathon between them each week for the duration of her seven-week recovery period.
They decided that all money raised from the challenge would go to the Raise a Rainbow appeal, which is aiming to provide a purpose built Bereavement area in the Accident and Emergency department for families and to also create a special area in A&E for children.
In total, the mother and daughter covered a distance of 183.4 miles over seven weeks.
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After completing the challenge, Lily – a Year 9 student at Benjamin Britten Music Academy in Lowestoft – said: “The last seven weeks have been tough, but knowing we have been doing it for a good cause has kept me going.
“I want to thank everyone for their support and donations; without them we wouldn’t have been able to achieve what we set out to.”
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With Lily’s parents, Julie and Justin Smith, of Lowestoft “very proud” of her efforts, Mrs Smith, a teacher at Gunton Primary Academy, said: “It’s taken a strict routine to get there; set days for set running distances – some early morning – and a second pair of running shoes as the first pair wore out!.
“In week four, Lily managed to cover a distance of nine miles, which was more than her target.
“The challenge has been an experience like no other.
“We had days when we thought we were completely mad but the support from friends, family and even complete strangers spurred us on.
“Lily and I set out with a target to raise £262 for the James Paget’s Raise a Rainbow Appeal and within two weeks our target had been surpassed.
“To date, we have raised £1,123.
“We feel humbled by the generosity of so many and are just pleased that we could fulfil our goal.
“I feel so very proud of Lily.
“She rose to the challenge and her grit and determination never ceased to amaze me.”
The family thanked Maxine Taylor (charity co-ordinator) and her team at James Paget, who have supported them throughout.
Visit www.jpaget-charity.org.uk/fundraisers/lilys-marathon-challenge for further details.