BLISTERS, sore soles and shin splints will be the least of one Rustington woman’s worries when she tackles a gruelling 100 kilometre run next month.
Caroline Toms will be tackling the exhausting London to Brighton run for the second time all to raise cash for a charity close to her heart.
Caroline, of Kirdford Close, is taking part in the cross-county trek to raise money for Tourette’s Action – a cause which has proved a vital lifeline for her nine-year-old nephew, Cameron, who has Tourette’s Syndrome.
A checkout team leader at Tesco, in West Durrington, Caroline, 30, said: “Cameron has quite a severe form of Tourette’s Syndrome.
“He has a lot of body tics. It basically means his muscles will move involuntarily.
“Sometimes, when he is really nervous, he will have a lot of tics and that will leave him feeling really exhausted.
“It’s so hard for him. When you ask him about his tics he says it’s like his head is really fuzzy.
“He can’t control it all the time which frustrates him.
“That then means he gets bigger tics because he is focussing more on them.”
There are around 300,000 people in the UK living with Tourette’s, a neurological condition which can lead to verbal outbursts or physical tics.
Tourette’s affects one in 100 children, some of whom will grow out of their tics by adulthood.
However, Caroline says that Cameron seems unlikely to grow out of his tics anytime soon.
She added that his seven-year-old twin brothers, Alessio and Roberto are also showing early, mild signs of the condition, having physical tics like Cameron.
Mum-of-two Caroline said: “I’m really determined to raise as much money as a I can to help Tourettes Action.
“They have been so supportive for my sister and for Cameron.
“They offered him lots of information and showed him groups that he can go to.
“The charity has also helped to tell the children and teachers at his school about Tourette’s and what it means.
“Because of this, he has had great support from his classmates.”
This is the second time that Caroline has taken on the run, having last year completed the course in just over 17 hours.
However, she said that this year’s event, on May 24, would be a more daunting prospect.
“Last year, I was running in a group,” she explained. “So we could support each other. But now, it is just me. So that’s pretty daunting.”
Caroline and her group’s effort in 2013 managed to raise £1,758 for Tourettes Action.
Now, running as an individual, she believes it is unlikely she will hit this figure again. However, she hopes to top the £600 mark – as well as beating her previous time.
“I have been training really hard, running 40 kilometre regularly,” she said. “Last year was a real learning curve. The most difficult part was the second half of the course. When I stopped at the halfway point I got my feet checked and there were some pretty big painful blisters. But I kept going!”
To support Caroline, see www.justgiving.com/Caroline-Toms3
She added: “Cameron is a lovely little boy who deserves as much help as possible.”