A mum and daughter running duo have been encouraging each other in the training for their first half marathon together, hoping to raise lots of money for refugee children.
Tiki Hills, a childminder from Littlehampton, won a place at the San Francisco Half Marathon last year and persuaded her mum, Michele Smith, to go on the training journey with her and take part in the Chichester Half Marathon 2017.
They are both signed up to this year’s Chichester Half Marathon on Sunday, October 7, raising money for Children on the Edge, a charity working with Syrian refugee children in Lebanon and Rohingya refugee children in Bangladesh.
Michele said: “It gives me something to race for. I don’t mind running but this just gives me something extra to keep me going. It’s helping children and if we don’t support children then what are we even doing?”
Tiki and Michele have already met their £100 fundraising target by doing a raffle and a coffee morning.
The mum and daughter team said they were an inspiration to each other, giving lots of encouragement to keep training and signing up for challenges.
Michele said: “I have eight grandchildren, they’re all different and they all have different needs. If they got in a situation where they had no family or home, I’d want someone to be there to look after them.
“I see situations like Syria and the other places Children on the Edge works and know the children there need help.”
Michele finished the race last year and said she would never do it again but decided that she wanted Tiki to conquer the summit of The Trundle hill fort, too.
Michele said: “It’s such a friendly race and there’s lots of diversity in the running. You go through town, park countryside, and then get the glorious view if you choose to look at it at the top.
“I see some runners not even taking it in, concentrating on their time, but I’m there to enjoy it. If I can, I stop at the top to take a photo.
“When you finish it’s such an amazing feeling to say ‘I’ve done it’. The welcome at the finish line is wonderful.”
The pair also go along to Bognor parkrun, as Michele is from Felpham, and they are regular members of Arunners.
Tiki said: “We have a giggle there. It also means I can run on ahead and not worry about mum being left to run on her own. They arrange lots of different routes so it keeps it all more interesting.”
Michele is fundraising for the run, to donate visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/michele-smith-chihalf.
Children on the Edge is encouraging 100 people to sign up for their Run for Refugees team, to raise £100 each. To join the team, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call the office on 01243 538530.