Coleraine woman Carol Conley will be joining over 25,000 runners from across the globe when she takes part in the Rock and Roll half Marathon in Las Vegas on November 12.
Carol, who took up running two years ago, is planning on putting her time in Sin City to good use as she is raising sponsorship for the Northern Ireland Children to Lapland Trust.
In Northern Ireland alone there are approximately 1000 children suffering from terminal illnesses and Carol decided she wanted to help put a smile on at least one of these little faces as she pounds the miles in Vegas.
The Children to Lapland Trust aims to give terminally ill, long-term ill and deserving children a day of joy in a lifetime of suffering, by taking them to see Santa at his home in Lapland and for many of these children it is sadly the last trip they will make.
“This is my 13th half marathon in two years and possibly my last so I wanted to do something special for it,” said 55-year old Carol.
“I started running two years ago when my son put a bet on with my that I couldn’t and ten weeks later I ran my first half marathon.
“I have taken part in numerous half marathons and also done two Rock and Roll Half Marathons in Dublin and Liverpool but the Las Vegas one is the biggest and most expensive because it costs £200 to enter.
“I was chatting to a friend one day and I had told her I had paid my trip to Vegas and she suggested I run the half marathon for charity.
“So I chose the Children to Lapland Trust. The charity took the child of a good friend of mine to Lapland and the experience they gave her was so special.
“I always had it in my mind that I would like to help them and what better thing to do than send a family to Lapland to visit Santa Claus this Christmas?” she said.
The half marathon will provide Carol and her fellow competitors with an epic after-dark tour of casinos, chapels, the iconic ‘Welcome to Las Vegas’ sign and the Fountains of Bellagio, plus an amazing finish line at the foot of the Mirage volcano with the added bonus of having Snoop Dog headlining the entertainment for the weekend.
“I am so excited,” added Carol. “Even though I am going on my own, to run with 25,000 people is something special. Snoop Dog is our headline act which is wonderful and there will be another 12 bands around the course.
“ I have been pounding the roads in the run up to Vegas and have done 30 miles this week already. I’m not getting any younger and it doesn’t get any easier so I think this might be my last half marathon.
“I just want to raise as much money for this charity as possible and if I have to do it on crutches I will, I won’t let these children down.”
If you would like to donate to Carol’s run for the N.I. Children to Lapland Trust go to https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Carol-Conley