Marathon effort by Uig runner

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In a truly marathon effort, 40 year old mother of three Rhoda Bamsey of Uig, Isle of Lewis is aiming to run the length of the Western Isles in aid of The Linda Norgrove Foundation.

As part of Linda’s Challenge 2011, the ultramarathon will run between 11 and 16 July. Starting in Barra and extending through the Uists and Benbecula right up to the Butt of Lewis, Rhoda aims to cover a distance of 160 miles.

The challenge equates to six marathons in six days and is the first time that such an endeavour - six marathons in six days running the length of the Western Isles - has been undertaken for charity. Rhoda will be accompanied by cyclists John Conway and Brian Hindson, two of The Foundation’s volunteers.

The nature of the event echoes the determination and inspirational ethos that Linda Norgrove displayed throughout her life. Linda was kidnapped in Afghanistan where she was working as a humanitarian aid worker and subsequently lost her life during a failed rescue attempt in October 2010. The Foundation hopes that ‘Linda’s Challenge’ will become the annual flagship event for the organisation and will grow year on year.

Rhoda, who has been training for the last eight months and has covered thousands of miles in preparation for the event, said: “I’m really looking forward to the challenge, I feel very inspired by Linda’s life and it seems fitting that we’re doing this challenge on the islands where she grew up.”

Brian Hindson who will be accompanying by bike said: “It will be a great event and we’re going to be joined on the last leg approaching the Butt of Lewis by Rhoda’s three children and my 11 year old daughter for the big finish.”

All the money raised by the event will go directly to The Linda Norgrove Foundation which is run in Uig by Linda’s parents John and Lorna Norgrove and aims to continue their daughter’s work in Afghanistan. The Foundation is determined to improve the lives of women and children in Afghanistan where one in five women are widowed and most recent statistics show that illiteracy amongst women is a startling 88%.

Rhoda said: “I feel that I wanted to participate in a worthy event and set myself a challenge because of these women and what they have to endure. One of the great things about The Linda Norgrove Foundation is that they provide funding for projects that will give long lasting help for generations. It’s not just about the fundraising, it’s about raising awareness and I believe really strongly in this cause.

“We’d also like to thank Caledonian MacBrayne for their generous assistance with ferrying costs - the company will be covering the fares of all participants and support crew for transport between islands. We are also grateful to the fire services for kindly offering the use of their facilities on the route.”

The details of the route of the ultramarathon can be found on the website, www.lindanorgrovefoundation.org.

Anyone who would like to sponsor Rhoda and her team, should visit www.lindanorgrovefoundation.org and select ‘Get Involved’, or send a cheque made payable to ‘The Linda Norgrove Foundation’ to 3 Mangersta, Uig, Isle of Lewis, HS2 9EY.