A Northumberland student is taking on a 12-month running challenge across the country to support her mother who lives with a rare and progressive muscle-wasting condition.
Alex Hughes, aged 20 from Mickley, kicks off her challenge with the Brass Monkey Half Marathon in York on 16 January.
Alex’s ‘12 in 12’ fundraising challenge will see her complete either a half marathon or 10K race in every month of 2022.
In October, the 20-year-old will lace up her trainers to tackle the London Marathon.
Alex was inspired to raise vital funds for the charity Muscular Dystrophy UK after her mum Bex was diagnosed with a form of limb girdle muscle dystrophy last year.
The condition means that she has progressive muscle wastage which causes mobility issues, particularly walking. Bex now requires the permanent use of crutches or a wheelchair to move around.
Alex' Challenge calendar
January: Brass Monkey Half Marathon in York – 13.1 miles
February: Duergar Nightcrawler at Northumberland National Park – 10 miles
March: Saturn Running Half Marathon in Durham – 13.1 miles
April: Run Media City in Salford – 10K
May: Leeds Half Marathon – 13.1 miles
June: Race to be confirmed
July: Durham City Run Festival – 10K
August: Try on the Tyne in Newcastle - 10K
September: Great North Run in Newcastle – 13.1 miles
October: London Marathon – 26.2 miles
November: Remembrance Day Run in Durham – 13.1 miles
December: Chopwell Woods in Gateshead – 10K
Alex is now one of her mum's main carers, along with her father, Chris, sister Charlotte, and twin brothers Tom and Matthew.
It can be a difficult balancing act for Alex, who is in her final year of PE teacher training at Leeds Beckett university.
She says she was motivated to complete the challenge by the rapid deterioration in her mother’s condition.
Alex said: “I wanted to do something that would really challenge me and my 12 in 12 challenge, which includes the London Marathon, is the perfect opportunity."
Alex added: "I am passionate about inspiring other people to take on challenges because while life may throw curveballs at you, we can always work together to make things seem better.”