Frances raising funds for London Marathon

A Ballymoney woman running the London Marathon has been given a huge leg up in her fundraising efforts.

On Monday (16 January) a delighted Frances McIlmoyle received a cheque for £550 from the Leaney Primary School.

Her two children attend the school which donated the money from the proceeds of their Christmas concert.

Frances said: “I was very pleased. It’s a good start especially with people losing their jobs at the minute to get money in.

“I’m trying to raise as much money as I can.”

Frances will take part in the world-famous endurance event on April 22.

She is running in aid of the Meningitis Trust and has to raise £2,000 for the charity.

Frances applied to take part last year but was luckier this time around. She also had to have a leg operation last year.

Frances said: “I tried to get in last year and I was shocked when the Meningitis Trust told me I got through in the golden ballot.”

She had to write a letter to the Meningitis Trust outlining her reasons why she wanted to run. She also had to pledge to raise the £2,000.

While many people collect money for cancer charities Frances decided to run for the Meningitis Trust as a neighbour suffered from the illness a few years ago.

She added: “I thought it would be a good cause to run for. I just thought I would try to something back.”

Frances knows what to expect from the gruelling event as she ran the Belfast Marathon seven years ago.

She runs three or four times a week and trains with the Springwell Running Club.

But like the 26-mile race Frances also has a fair distance to go with her fundraising.

She has more than £1,000 to collect but her husband Chris is organising fundraising drives such as a table quiz at Ballymoney Rugby Club in March.

The couple will also be running other collections but if you don’t see them you can easily donate money online.

Simply log on to http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/FrancesMcIlmoyle.