Ella Preston after completing Alton Towers Half Marathon

The challenge was set for Ella Preston and she was aiming to run 56km a week throughout the month of November for Prevent Breast Cancer

With the aim of the game being to raise money for Prevent Breast Cancer, the Run 56 Challenge entails covering 56km over the month of November. The 56km represents the 56,000 people who are diagnosed with breast cancer each year. Since she’s been running very well of late though, Ella Preston decided to take it up a notch and instead of completing 56km for the month, she’s looking to do 56km a week.

When Ella first started training with Bournemouth AC, she was only really doing parkruns and rarely went over the 5km distance. Over time though she’s built on that, first progressing to 10k races before eventually going on to complete the New Forest Marathon in September of this year.

Ella Preston taking on the Run 56 Challenge

Ella embarks upon a journey that will see her cover a lot of ground throughout the month

That’s something she never thought she’d be able to accomplish. But she did, proving to herself that she can do pretty much anything if she put her mind to it. Now she’s committed to that 56km a week target, she will do everything in her power to achieve it and will be looking to raise as much money as possible in the process.

Ella Preston at Bushy Park parkrun

Ella is back at the place where it all began – Bushy Park – home of the original parkrun

Since the month of November started on a Wednesday, the first one was only half a week, so it was sort of like a warm up for Ella before she hit her first full 56km week. She ran 28km that week, including a trip over to Bushy Park for a go at the original parkrun.

The following weekend she made an appearance on home turf at Coventry parkrun and that brought her weekly total up to 35km. That left her with 21km remaining to hit her target and what better way to kill that off than by taking on the Alton Towers Half Marathon.

Ella giving her all in the Alton Towers Half Marathon

The Alton Towers Half Marathon was a great way to kill of those last 21km


Ella Preston starting the Alton Towers Half Marathon

Ella looks determined as she gets her Alton Towers Half Marathon race underway

It was a real rollercoaster of a race, with plenty of ups and downs and plenty of twists and turns. In fact, the route encompassed 1,000ft of elevation. It was all for a good cause though and although she’d already done one 19km run that week and had to get out on most the other days too, she ran well to complete the course in 1:55:24, putting her in 626th place out of 1,586 participants. She was 111th female out of 534.

It was a race that brought many thrills and spills for Ella. What mattered most though was the distance – and she’d done it. She’d conquered the 56km benchmark for the week. Of course, there was no time to recover and rest on her laurels. She was straight back into it the following week, running 25km on the Monday. She was really pushing herself hard now but it felt good to test the waters and see what she could stretch to.

Ella makes her way round the Alton Towers Half Marathon route

The conditions were wet but that didn’t deter Ella from hitting her distance goal

She did had to run almost every day for the remainder of the week as well but hit her target once again. That was 56km for the week done and dusted and so far she’d covered 140km since starting the challenge. Most importantly of all, she’d now raised over £1,000 for Prevent Breast Cancer.

Ella checks her distance as she nears the finish line

Ella checks her distance as she nears the finish line

She’s done brilliantly so far but Ella still has 11 more days of the challenge to get through. She needs to do another 56km this week and then continue on for four more days the week after. It’s going to be tough but she’s going to give it her all. Your donations could help her get through it and give her the motivation to hit her remaining targets.

Ella Preston at Alton Towers

Ella has already raised over £1,000 but she wants more

Here is a link to Ella’s fundraising page. All donations will be gratefully received.