By: NATASHA SMITH
LOCAL RESIDENTS Shirley Emílio and Amanda Mortimer are planning to run a total of 215km for charity, from the Spanish border to Sagres, along the Algarve’s new Ecovia route in May.
In an effort to raise money for local charity ACCA and the UK’s Jane’s Appeal, Shirley and Amanda will run over a period of seven days, with the aim to cover 30km per day. They will have a support team throughout the run following behind, as well as police and medical assistance.
The Ecovia is the Algarve’s part of the EuroVelo, a European wide route for pedestrians, runners and cyclists covering more than 65,000km, of which nearly 50 per cent has been completed.
ACCA is an Algarve based children’s charity and Jane’s Appeal, which was founded by the late Jane Tomlinson, raises funds for children’s and cancer charities. Her husband, Mike Tomlinson, said: “When we first heard of Amanda and Shirley’s plans to run 215km, we were astounded. We have no doubt that they will rise to the challenge.”
Jane Oliphant, one of ACCA’s fundraising organisers told The Resident that this was a great event and she was honoured that Amanda and Shirley chose ACCA to support. She said: “This is a very good fundraising initiative and I am sure it will also be a fun event for all people involved”.
Amanda and Shirley told The Resident: “The support and enthusiasm has been fantastic so far. This is a first and we see it as a marriage of fundraising across Portugal and the UK.” They hope many people will turn out to support the event and the charities.
Many local businesses have already lent their support to the event, including Hilton As Cascatas in Vilamoura, which has generously provided 30 rooms free of charge to participants and celebrities from the UK.
Women’s business association Network will also be lending its support to the event by organising a group of members to run in the final 10km, which is open to the public.
The event is due to begin on May 2 with a fund raising concert and entertainment evening, with celebrities from Portugal and the UK due to appear, including already confirmed Bonnie Tyler.
On May 4, Shirley and Amanda will set out on their ambitious run from Vila Real de Santo António. On reaching the fortaleza in Sagres, commonly known as Portugal’s Land’s End, the final 10km will be open to the public. Runners and cyclists of all ages will be welcome to join in and support the event.
Both Shirley and Amanda said they were nervous but excited about their run and are currently in training. Amanda said that one of the most difficult tasks will be maintaining a certain pace but it would be easier with Shirley by her side.
For more information on how to take part and pledge sponsorship, please visit www.2girls2run.com
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