Woodley woman Amy is getting her ice skates on … for the London Marathon

Talented skater will run London on blades in bid to raise £1,000 for Mental Health Foundation

A WOODLEY woman is looking forward to setting a new world record when she runs the London Marathon later this month – but Mo Farah needn’t be looking over his shoulder as she’ll be wearing ice skates.

Amy Barnes has spent the past six months going out on training runs in a bid to become the first person ever to run 26.2 miles while wearing blades.

And it’s all in a good cause as she hopes to raise at least £1,000 for the Mental Health Foundation.

“I’m hoping to run it in six-and-a-half or seven hours,” said a delighted Amy. “But to be honest, I’m running to finish it and to be the first person ever to run a marathon while wearing ice skates.”

She is putting covers over the blades to ensure they are safe to use on the streets of London.

But Amy is quick to dispel any fears that she’ll be unsteady on her feet.

“I am so used to skating: I have skated for more than half my life,” the 28-year-old explained.

“To me, they are no different to normal shoes. There’s an ongoing joke that I have more balance on skates than on a normal shoe.”

Having the world record is one thing, but Amy – who works at Nine Mile Ride Veterinary Hospital in Finchampstead – has a serious reason for running.

“Mental health issues are just not talked about enough in sport. I wanted to raise awareness: it needs to be talked about,” she explained.

“I think there needs to be more awareness to the mental health of sportsmen and women. It is not uncommon for an athlete to stop doing what they are trained to do at the height of their carer as they have struggled with some type of mental health, be it an eating disorder or depression.

“I want to help these by raising money for an amazing charity and do my bit.”

And with the race taking place on Sunday, April 28, Amy is looking forward to the challenge – she will be a familiar face on the streets of Woodley as she undertakes her final preparations.

“My family think I’m completely insane to do this, but they really support me,” she said.

To donate to Amy’s fund, log on to www.justgiving.com/fundraising/amy-barnes14

Phil Creighton

Editor of The Wokingham Paper, and has worked in local journalism for more than 20 years including the Wokingham Times, Bracknell Standard and Reading Evening Post. He's also written for computer magazines, The Baptist Times and, to his delight and probably not yours, interviewed several Doctor Whos.

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