West Winch lady halfway towards her marathon goal

London Marathon 1st time Runner West Winch
Donna Mason with her medal and Winchley Home Resident, Marion Coates (who will be 104 on 2nd of May, and has known Donna for many years) ANL-160428-114946009
London Marathon 1st time Runner West Winch Donna Mason with her medal and Winchley Home Resident, Marion Coates (who will be 104 on 2nd of May, and has known Donna for many years) ANL-160428-114946009

An inspirational runner who completed her first London Marathon with her sister is halfway towards her goal of buying a new sensory unit for a West Norfolk care home where she works.

Donna Mason, 32, competed the gruelling 26.2-mile test in a bid to raise funds towards the new equipment at Winchley Home, at West Winch, who care for people with dementia.

Her feat was made more incredible by the fact that she only had 10 weeks to prepare for the big race with her sister Laura Arnold, 37, whose chosen charity was Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment.

Mrs Mason, from West Winch, said: “I only got the chance to take part at late notice. I mentioned it to my sister, who had done marathons in the past, that it would be incredible if we could do it together. The care home has always been a big part of my life. I’ve worked there 12 years but my mum Gina has worked there for more than 30 years.

“I’m no athlete but wanted to do it for Winchley who get very little funding. It’s so hard trying to raise money for small independent companies.”

On her first marathon experience, Mrs Mason said: “It was amazing, but so, so tough. It was one day of my life where I was in pain, but the people I work with have that struggle every day.

“My sister helped me get through the training and once the race started I told her to go ahead.

“Laura finished before me and tracked where I was. She completed the last 800 metres with me on the sidelines. It gave me such a lift at the finish.”

A new sensory light unit will help relieve stress and anxiety and create a tranquil environment for residents like Marion Coates, who will turn 104 on Monday, and their families.

Mrs Mason’s mum Gina Reeve said: “We are all so very proud of Donna’s achievement.”

Mrs Mason, who intends on doing the Perkins Peterborough half-marathon next, thanked the Coach and Horses at Tilney, customers of Tina Smith at Cathy’s Hairdressers in Tilney St Lawrence, collegues of Simon Smith at Haygarts, Fenland Garage Doors, at Downham, Double G Clothing and her family, friends and colleagues.

Anyone wishing to donate can do so via Donna’s Just Giving page or contact Winchley Home direct on 01553 841582.