CARING for her daughter with learning disabilities inspired a Durrington mother to take up a gruelling 1,000 mile charity running challenge.
Vicki Slaughter, 36, of Adur Avenue, Worthing, became a full-time carer for seven-year-old Eloise after being forced to quit working as a midwife following post-pregnancy complications.
She plans to run 1,000 miles over the next year to raise funds for Great Ormond Street Hospital, which has cared for her daughter.
She said: “I wanted to raise money for GOSH but I wanted to do something that reflected the difficulty Eloise faces in life, too.”
She added: “I also want to raise awareness of the disabilities that don’t get spoken about. Eloise is being tested for Auditory Processing Disorder, that many medical professionals haven’t even heard of.”
Vicki initially planned to run 100 miles in official events but extended the challenge to include training miles.
She has clocked up 200 miles to date and hopes to complete her last steps at the Great South Run in October.
Starting with a ‘couch to 5k’ programme, she quickly racked up her initial miles and gained confidence to enter races.
She said: “I took up running purely for the challenge. My friend did the Brighton Marathon and I watched her cross the line with a huge sense of pride but very little understanding of what she had actually done.
“A few weeks later I was having a BBQ and I was talking about the challenge and she had belief in me that I could do it.”
Since beginning the challenge, Vicki has developed the ‘running bug’, with increased fitness a welcome by-product of her fundraising efforts.
“It is tough and much harder that I thought it was going to be.
“Running is not all about the physical challenge but it is also a huge mental challenge too.
“I remind myself when it is pouring it down that I wanted it to be difficult and I didn’t want it to be easy. Eloise is my inspiration.”
The progress of the challenge will be documented in a regular blog. For more information on Vicki’s challenge and how to donate, visit www.100milerunningchallengeblogspot.co.uk or follow @VickiSlawts on Twitter.