LONG-distance runner Victoria Carter strode out to complete the first of four ultra races as the Mossley mother-of-two is looking to raise £750 this year for homeless charity Emmaus.
The 36-year-old, a member of Mossley AFC Running Club, completed the first leg on New Year’s Day with a 30-mile run in North Yorkshire.
And if Victoria completes the challenge – all four runs are on parts or all the Cleveland Way – she will have covered 250 miles.
There will be a 50-mile route in March, the full 110-mile length of the Cleveland Way in May and a 60-mile run in September.
She is inviting the public to sponsor her by completing virtual races of one tenth of the distance she runs.
Victoria, a race director of the Uppermill junior parkrun, is charging £10 per race with participants medals, fastest time prizes and spot prizes for interesting photos and stories with companies Up and Running, Boyd and Mind and TeamOA donating prizes.
It was only in 2010 that Victoria, a secondary school teacher in Glossop, took up running after giving up smoking and two years later completed her first marathon, a trail event.
She described it as “addictive” explaining: “You meet other runners doing epic distances and it becomes very real and achievable.
“I smoked from the age of 14 and running was what other people did and marathons were definitely what others did.
“When I ran my first marathon I cried for the last six miles because I knew I would finish it.”
She added husband David, himself a runner, encouraged her to take up the activity.
Victoria, whose children Lexi, 8, and Logan, 7, also run, said: “He only does shorter distances and is a long-suffering ultra widow.
“When he got me involved in running, I don’t think he realised the monster he created, but he is very supportive and proud of me.”
The longest Victoria has run was 70 miles in the Endure 24 race in Leeds in July.
“That took 19 hours and the cut-off time for the 110-mile event is 36 hours so just finishing it will be my target,” she said.
Victoria initially set a fundraising target of £500 but within one week of launching her appeal had raised £450 so she upped the total to £750.
“Thirteen people have signed up for the virtual races and, if they all complete the four races, that in itself will raise £520,” she continued.
Victoria explained why she is supporting Emmaus.
She said: “When we moved to Mossley from a one-bedroom flat in York to a two-bed house, we needed furniture which we got from Emmaus which has furnished our home.
“They are a community and I love what they do. It is a lovely place and it felt personal.”
Back in 2012, Victoria was part of a group of 20 runners that attempted to run the circumference of Earth in 12 months – they completed it in 15 months.
“It meant every runner had to average 25 miles each week and it took longer due to people picking up injuries, but we raised £17,000 for Huntingdon’s disease,” explained Victoria.
• To get involved with Victoria’s challenge, go online to