Epic challenge saw nurse from Whittingham and friend run 192 miles in a week

Katie Bretherton and Mathew Smith pictured during their epic challenge
Katie Bretherton and Mathew Smith pictured during their epic challenge

A children’s nurse from Whittingham has completed one of the greatest challenges of her life - running 192 miles across England from St Bees Head to Robin Hood Bay over seven consecutive days.

And by doing so, Katie Bretherton, 34 who was accompanied by friend Mathew Smith, 34 on the Wainwright Coast 2 Coast Way have smashed their original £7,000 target by more than £3,000 to help orphans in Goa realise their dreams.

The run was the equivalent of running seven marathons in a week and while Katie, although an experienced fell runner, had only previously run one mountain marathon, Mathew, who lives in Woking, had never run one at all.

Katie says the idea to fund raise came about after she visited a charity called the Bethesda Life Centre in Goa last year which works to raise orphans to become healthy, wholesome young adults, believing education is the key to provide good futures for them.

Katie says: “They endeavour to support each child with their studies. These are young people with a great taste for life and they have great ambition to achieve their dreams. One such young lady would like to become a nurse. It would cost £600 a year to send her to nursing school. In three years she could be shining light and bringing compassion into the lives of many. This is why this this run took place, because the cycle of poverty needs to be broken. It was an opportunity for communities to come together and help lift these amazing children into their dreams.”

In fact, Katie says it was the determination of the children to achieve their dreams that kept them going in some of their darkest moments.

Despite numerous injuries and running up to 30 miles some days, once for 14 hours, Katie said: “The pain was unforgiving at times, in order to carry on, you had to make a peace with it... Without the commitment of our support team, we would have been at a loss. They were amazing, true heroes and friends on a rather great adventure.”