Gillian’s 100k challenge!

editorial image

A gutsy Coleraine woman has set herself a huge challenge - a 100 kilometre walk in just 24 hours.

Local fitness instructor Gillian Anderson is no stranger to hard graft - she is the Academy Manager of Sky Dive Wild Geese Centre in Garvagh and an instructor at Core Gym and Energie Fitness in Coleraine.

In just under three weeks time, on Saturday, June 21, she will walk from London to Brighton, a distance of 100 kilometres, with four pals to raise money for Blind Veterans UK, a charity that provides physical and emotional support to veterans who have lost their sight.

“A good friend of mine Staff Sergeant Marie Gorstridge, an army welfare officer at Dalton Barracks, Abingdon,talked me into it,” admitted the mother of two.

“Marie suffers with post traumatic stress disorder, and regularly has nightmares and flash backs. Brave Marie says that at least she can wake up from these dreams, those who have lost their sight remain in darkness.

“Marie and the three others - Private Ryan Fennell, Private Ste Reeves and Lance Corporal Chloe Dixon made the trip to Northern Ireland last week and we did a training walk together.

“We clocked up just under forty miles, taking in all the sights. The guys were amazed by the scenery and the hospitality of the people here on the North Coast.

“When we were at the Causeway, one guy asked us about the fund raiser, he then came back to us with a donation, he was a former soldier himself, we were all very moved by his actions.”

Gillian has been training around the roads of the North Coast with close friend Leanne Godfrey: “Without Leanne I would be lost. We had no concept of how much walking can hurt until we started this,” she joked.