28 Nov 2017 Last updated at 11:00

Half marathons by the dozen

Two Island women have notched up a foot-slogging 12 half marathons in 12 months to raise more than £1,500 for charities.

Shirley Belcher and Julie Caudle pounded circuits from Newcastle to Dorchester and from Frome to Eastbourne to raise money for Macmillan and the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB).
 
Both are members of the Cowes Women’s Running Group – and ran through wind, rain, floods and heat to achieve their goal.
 
“We came up with the crazy idea on New Year’s Day – and we finally achieved our goal with our 12th and final half marathon at Gosport this month,” said Shirley, who fitted in a hectic training schedule around her full-time job as an assistant licensing officer for the Isle of Wight Council.
 
“It’s only thanks to the support of all those people who have sponsored us, cheered for us and encouraged us that we made it through – and both us have got a fair bit fitter in the bargain.
 
“We are delighted to have raised funds for both charities – and are now thinking about what we can do next year, after a bit of a rest. Both charities are very close to us in providing support to family members in the past.”
 
Shirley, who lives in Cowes, has been running for eight years and admitted she could ”hardly run to the other side of the road” until she joined the Cowes Women’s Running Group.
 
Julie, who works for Marvins estate agents and also lives in Cowes, said: “We are delighted to have achieved something that at the beginning seemed impossible to us both. I think we helped to spur each other on when the going got particularly tough.
 
“Normally with the Cowes Women’s Running Group we may run five to ten miles a week – but 12 half marathons in a year was a big leap for both of us.”
 
Shirley added: “We are thinking of may be trying to achieve personal bests in different distances next year from ten kilometres to a marathon – but it is only in the planning stage at present as it was quite a complicated programme with just the half marathons. We’ll see how we feel in the new year.”
 
You can still sponsor Julie and Shirley by visiting: http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/ShirleyBelcher  

The half marathons they completed were: Windsor, Portsmouth, Eastbourne, Southampton, Dorchester, Needles, Frome, Isle of Wight, Great North Run, Chichester, Marlow, and Gosport.

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Julie (left) and Shirley (right) with the Mayor of Chichester
Julie (left) and Shirley (right) with the Mayor of Chichester
Factfile
  • The half marathons they completed were: Windsor, Portsmouth, Eastbourne, Southampton, Dorchester, Needles, Frome, Isle of Wight, Great North Run, Chichester, Marlow, and Gosport.
 
Isle of Wight, UK