herald

Sunday 19 August 2018

wheelchair

DJ Debbie Allen is a mini marathon regular but admits she had let her fitness slip in the past few years. Needing a goal, she set her sights on this year's Flora Women's Mini Marathon.

"I decided to take part in this year's mini marathon because I went back to the gym after a very, very long time at the end of January having been sedentary -- horizontal! -- for about year.

"I wanted to set myself a goal and up my level of fitness. It was nothing to do with losing weight, although hopefully that will be a by-product of the exercise."

For Debbie, it will be either her ninth or 10th women's mini marathon.

"After the first three, you tend to lose count! Each one has been very different. My first was with a girl in a wheelchair that she moved with a device in her mouth. That put things into perspective for me."

Finding time to train has been a challenge.

"It's important to make time for yourself to exercise but, as you know yourself, real life gets in the way and you have to be selfish and most mams feel guilty about doing that.

"Training was a bit stop/start for a while but I'm confident I'll get round the route next Monday."

Because she sponsors a little girl, Nondudnzo, who's seven and lives in Swaziland, Debbie is taking part in the mini marathon for World Vision Ireland.

"I feel it's very important that we keep people from other countries who are less fortunate than ourselves in mind. While times are hard in Ireland, we are not dealing daily with the devastation caused by HIV/Aids. "Mothers and fathers are being wiped out and leaving children to be raised by their grandparents with very little money or help."

After Mini Marathon Monday, Debbie plans to keep training.

"It would be a pity to turn into a slug again after all the hard work! My son is 21 in August, so I'd like to look a bit better than I do now. Vanity, thy name is Deborah!

"Also, I cannot forget the trip down to Swaziland in November with World Vision to meet my sponsored child. I'd like to be able to breathe properly and move around in the African heat without dissolving into a huge sweaty mess!"

To join Debbie Allen on the World Vision Ireland mini marathon team, go to www.worldvision.ie or call 01-4980800

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