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Inpired by Steve Prescott...teaching colleagues are braced for epic challenge
8:00am Saturday 29th September 2012 in News
WHEN he launched the St Helens 10K run Steve Prescott said he was on a mission to inspire people to get fit and active.
It certainly worked with teaching colleagues Karen Davison and Ruth Larsen - and now they are braced for the toughest physical challenge of their lives.
They will be among 30 competitors lining up for Steve’s latest test of endurance – the Engage Mutual Race to the Grand Final – a 48 hour event that includes running, cycling, kayaking and swimming.
Less than two years ago the busy mums, who work at Bleak Hill Primary School, would not have dared to think of what lies ahead. But after reading about the incredible feats of endurance achieved by terminal cancer patient Prescott they took up running.
They started with the St Helens 10K, moved on to the Liverpool half marathon before stepping up to the marathon itself.
Now their biggest test awaits.
Mother-of-three and teacher Karen, 42, from Windle, said: “I hadn’t really done any sport since schooldays. We both have children and it’s difficult to find time.
“But we were in our 40s and you start thinking about the need to keep fit.
“I’m 42 now and my dad died at that age. I was 18 then and he (Ian Wilson) was captain of the West Park vets rugby team.
“He had a heart attack in the changing rooms after playing a match. As I approached that age it got me thinking that I need to be conscious of my health because of the family history.
“Steve’s story is a big inspiration too – I’m a Saints season ticket holder and remember watching him in the 90s.”
Beginning in Hull next Thursday, Karen and mother-of-two Ruth, a 46-year-old teaching assistant, will join fundraisers who must swim across the Humber Estuary before cycling the width of the country to Liverpool, where they will then swim the Mersey.
They will then run to the Runcorn Bridge, where the Bridgewater Canal begins. From here, they will kayak the canal to Old Trafford in time to watch the Stobart Super League Grand Final.
It will be some feat, especially considering they underwent swimming coaching lessons at Queens Park baths earlier this year to bring themselves up to scratch.
“Later, when I got in the lake for the first time – it was 8C. I thought ‘you must be mad’.”