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.

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