A TEA and coffee company chief clocked up 26.2 miles over Lakeland trails to raise money for a Lake District charity in the virtual 2020 London Marathon – and ran part of it in a bear costume.
Gina Pennington, co-director of Penningtons Tea and Coffee in Kendal was also running in memory of Brian Coulthwaite, the much-missed landlord of the Watermill Inn at Ings.
She managed to raise close to £2,000 for the Brathay Trust, a charity which supports young adults facing significant challenges in their lives.
Gina also completed the event alongside Brian’s wife’s cousin Annie, who fundraised for The Dog’s Trust.
Gina said: “We really wanted to pay tribute to Brian so we started the run at the Watermill Inn. It was quite an emotional day as Brian meant a lot to all of us.
“Also, I really wanted to find a way to continue to help raise money for The Brathay Trust, a charity that I’ve supported at different events over the past five years. It’s an incredibly important charity which needs our support to help get it through this difficult time.
Gina was due to run the 2020 Virgin Money London marathon, but following the Coronavirus outbreak, the popular event had to be cancelled.
However, instead, she joined up with around 43,000 runners across 109 different countries to take part in a live virtual marathon.
And, to make the run even more interesting she chose to run some of it in a bear mascot costume.
Gina said: “I would have run the full marathon in costume if I was doing it in London but it was getting incredibly uncomfortable and I was struggling to breath properly. However, I know that it would have put a smile on Brian’s face had he seen what we looked like.”
Gina’s local MP Tim Farron even showed some support by running 10km alongside them.
Gina finished her 26.2 mile run at Nether Kellet in just over seven hours.
She said: “It was fairly difficult because there were points in the run where we had to improvise, make our own path and climb over fences because some of the trails were still flooded from Saturday’s rain .
“The last three miles felt like they took forever too, it was so difficult. But, reaching the finish and celebrating what we had achieved and how much money we raised was an incredible feeling.”
Penningtons Tea and Coffee is a family-run business and it recently recorded a 40 per cent increase in demand for their letterbox-friendly coffee and tea packages as lockdown Brits sought a caffeine fix.
To donate visit https://tinyurl.com/y43fphkk