Hampshire women run two marathons a day for nearly three weeks to inspire schoolchildren

Watch Rachel Hepworth's report on Debs and Sarah's epic journey. She also spoke to children from Cliddesden Primary, teacher Laura Robinson and Headteacher Kenneth Davies

Two amazing ladies from Hampshire are close to completing a charity marathon challenge that would intimidate the hardiest of endurance athletes.

PE teacher Debbie Costen and her friend, personal trainer Sarah Cotton from Basingstoke, are running the distance from John O’Groats to Land’s End, the equivalent of two marathons a day for 17 days.

The two friends had hoped to run the actual route from Scotland to Cornwall, and began training a year ago. But lockdown restrictions meant they had to complete the distance locally.

They have still been running 52 miles a day, but now from Newbury to Wootton Rivers and back, mainly along the Kennet and Avon canal.

Debbie Costen said: “We are two slightly mad ladies who like to run long distances. We’ve done a number of events together but nothing of this magnitude."

Debbie works at two Basingstoke schools, Cliddesden Primary School and Hatch Warren Junior School and has inspired pupils to get back into fitness regimes after lockdown.

The children are collectively trying to match their teacher's efforts and also run 860 miles between them.

Children at Cliddesden Primary cheer on Debs and Sarah

Come rain or shine, they are running to help raise vital funds for Naomi House and Jacksplace.

Lucy Gray, Regional Fundraiser at Naomi House said: “We are in absolute awe of Debbie and Sarah’s efforts, we are so grateful that they have chosen to support Naomi House and Jacksplace with their epic challenge. A huge thank you to the ladies and to everyone who donates and helps them along the way!”

For more information about their fundraising challenge please click here.

The charity needs to raise £9.2 million annually to provide a complete service to support local life limited and life threatened children, young adults and their families on good days, difficult days and last days.