Sheffield runner raises over Â£1,000 to give schoolchildren sporting opportunity
A runner from Sheffield has embarked on a gruelling nine and half hour run in the Peak District, raising over Â£1,000 for schoolchildren who are getting into the sport.
Nicola Squires, aged 33, set off from her Rivelin home one hour before sunrise on December 21, and covered over 37 miles of Derbyshire landscape, before returning half an hour after the sun had gone down.
She decided to run from '˜dawn until dusk' to raise money and give at least some schoolchildren the opportunity to experience running that may change their life.
In total she has raised Â£1,350, more than doubling her original target of Â£500, and hopes donations will continue so she can help more children.
She said: 'The run was great. Both the day before and the day after it the weather was lovely with crisp, blue skies but the weather on the day was cold and miserable and there really was no sunrise or sunset.
'It was a really nice way to end an amazing year. It felt surreal for a while. Christmas was a blur, I didn't realise what I'd done. Being a runner, I take it for granted as something I do.
'But people have said it is incredible what I've done. It was amazing and it's something I'd definitely do again.
'If it helps one of the 30 kids to take up running then I'd be over the moon.'
Nicola, who works in admin and sport development at a yoga studio, has been passionate about running since she was in school, having gone on to win the Sheffield Half Marathon numerous times and also compete nationally.
And, had it not been for her year five teacher, Mr Malkin at Hartley Brook Primary School, Nicola may have never become a runner.
After struggling with her mental health over the last 12 months, one cold February morning she decided to brave the wet weather and head out for a run.
It was here she met cyclist and filmmaker Brendon Tyree, a chance encounter that she says helped her heal.
The pair set about creating a film based on running from sunrise to sunset called '˜Golden Days' which captures Nicola on run in the Peak District.
Nicola said this time, surrounded by the beautiful scenery was a '˜truly healing and a spiritual experience', one that she will never forget.
Craig Malkin, who still works within primary schools as sports lead to development opportunities for children across Sheffield, also gave Nicola the opportunity to support at an after school running club which he had set up.
Seeing the children go from not wanting to take part, to enjoying the sport, she decided to raise the money for the children in Craig's school partnership in the only way she knew fit.
The money raised will go towards things like a sports kit, and an external coaching camp, with the overall cost per child around Â£50, and any money left over used as fun run entry for the children.
Following the run, Nicola is hoping she can reach a grand total of Â£1,500 to make sure more children can experience running.