Run Norwich 2017: Attleborough mum Mel Parish - ‘I might have to crawl across that finish line but I’ll do it with a smile.’

Mel Parish is one of 6,000 people getting ready for this year's Run Norwich. Picture: Courtesy Mel P

Mel Parish is one of 6,000 people getting ready for this year's Run Norwich. Picture: Courtesy Mel Parish - Credit: Archant

Taking on the 10km Run Norwich will be one of the biggest challenges Mel Parish has ever faced.

But the 45-year-old from Attleborough said she had an excellent reason to push herself to the limit - her son Sam.

Despite living with a visual impairment, Sam, 16, has been able to try activities such as golf and skiing, as well as play the sport most loves - football.

And it is all thanks to the Norwich City Community Sports Foundation, which he has been part of for the past five years.

Ms Parish said: '(The foundation) has given him the opportunity not just to participate, but to build confidence and be part of a team.

'It's about ability, not disability, and they are so good at getting the best out of these kids who have daily struggles, and making them feel good about themselves.

'Run Norwich is an opportunity to give something back.

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'I might have to crawl across that finish line but I'll do it with a smile.'

READ MORE: Run Norwich 2017: 10 runners' questioned answeredMs Parish is raising money for the foundation, which is one of the event's four official charities.

She said she had come a long way since she started training for the run and now felt fitter than she ever had before.

Ms Parish said: 'Until six months ago I couldn't even run around the corner without getting breathless but somehow on Sunday I'm going to attempt 10km.

'My whole life has been focused on this - every spare moment it has been 'let's get out there and do something'. I'm very nervous, but excited as well. This is putting me way outside my comfort zone.'

Ms Parish is a full-time carer for her 19-year-old daughter, who has Myalgic Encephalopathy (ME).

She said her training had been a good chance to unwind from her responsibilities.

READ MORE: 10 things to help you through 10 days before Run NorwichMs Parish said: 'I use the running as a break from the pressures of caring as well.

'It's quite nice to be able to go out for a run for an hour.'

Ms Parish said she also wanted to help spread the word about the foundation's work.

She said: 'I don't think people realise how much it reaches out and benefits these youngsters - Sam has now gone on and he's playing for the eastern region, and it was Community Sports that gave him the confidence to get up and have a go.'

To donate, visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/melanie-parish

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