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East Sussex Mother to run 8 marathons in 8 days for charity

Published Monday 13th of April 2015 02:49:27 PM

A 33 year old mother from East Sussex is preparing for an epic marathon challenge later this month.

Tara Twyman from Uckfield, East Sussex, will be running 8 marathons on 8 consecutive days all over the South East of England to raise money for the Yoga Mission, a charity running pioneering educational projects in India.

A truly epic challenge

Tara has run several marathons before, but never in such close succession. Traditional running wisdom recommends running no more than 1 or 2 marathons per year, which makes Tara's challenge all the more extreme.

The monumental challenge will see Tara completing 210 miles over the 8 days, which is approximately the distance from London to Manchester. It kicks off with the Virgin Money London Marathon on Sunday 26th April, and is followed by six self-organised marathons dotted around Kent and Sussex. The final marathon is in fact an 'ultramarathon': the Three Forts Challenge, which comes in at just over 27 miles. Runners from a number of local clubs and members of the online running community Run Mummy Run will be supporting Tara along the way, and double Olympic gold medallist Dame Kelly Holmes will be ready to meet her with cake at the finish line of marathon number two at her café in Hildenborough. Even Tara's two year old son is keen to get involved. He will join her for the final laps of marathon number 5 which is to be run entirely on the 400m athletics track in Lewes.

Inspired by a unique and pioneering charity

Tara has been inspired by the work of Lucy Guest, an Oxford graduate who gave up a lucrative and promising career in the city in search of a more fulfilling existence. Lucy has now spent fifteen years in India, and has set up the Yoga Mission, an educational charity which funds projects run by the International Chandramauli Trust in Varanasi.

Lucy was struck by the numbers of children who seemed to slip through the state education system. Lucy rented a room and started teaching children who had dropped out of school with the aim of returning them to mainstream school. In the space of a few years, this one room has grown into the International Chandramauli Trust, a school in Varanasi spread over five floors, which has 150 pupils on its books, including 29 residents. What makes Chandramauli special is its philosophy. The holistic model of education not only provides children with the educational tools they need to further themselves professionally, but gives them an identity and a purpose by rooting them in their history and instilling in them the basic decent values of their own Vedic culture. They leave with a profound sense of both where they have come from, and where they want to go most staying in their own community to help effect the change. They take in the very poorest children, society's outcasts. They educate them, house them, clothe them and show them how to lead a life with dignity and respect, and how to live as a valuable member of society.

Tara is aiming to raise £5000 from her 8 marathons which will pay for Chandramauli to open a kindergarten for 20 children, and to run it for a year, offering hot meals and uniforms to the children, while giving them the best possible educational start.

She commented:

'I have followed Lucy's work since 2010, and right from the start I felt that she was doing something special and unique. It's not every day you meet someone who has devoted their whole life to other people, and in such a sustainable and ethical manner. A charity on such a small scale relies heavily on the goodwill of the relatively small number of people who know about it. I just feel that this is such a good cause that more people should know about it, and so I decided to take on this challenge! It had to be tough to make it worth people donating, but I have a feeling it's going to be tougher than anything I can imagine! I just hope that people will get behind me and support the cause, as that is what will carry me through the finish line(s). That and A LOT of jelly babies!'

How everyone can join in

Tara is keen for other runners to join her for part or all of any of the marathons. Even her son, Leo, who turned 2 in January, is going to do his bit. He plans to run 2 laps of the athletics track at Lewes on the 30th April, which is 800m or half a mile. Tara commented: 'He's very excited about it! He has been coming running with me ever since he was a tiny baby in the pram, and he loves it, although we now do a combination of him running on his legs and resting in the buggy! I can't wait to run with him, in my imagination we'll charge triumphantly over the finish line hand in hand�.in reality he'll be darting about like a puppy and I'll be too tired to see, but it might make a nice photo opportunity!'

To read more about the challenge and to find out how to get involved please visit www.tararuns8in8.wix.com/8in8 and make a donation at www.justgiving.com/tararuns8in8 or text ARAT88 £5 to 70070 to donate £5.
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