Toni’s 100-mile run across the Himalayan mountains

Toni Phoenix, from Cottam, who is setting off on the Himalyan 100 Mile Stage Race.

Toni Phoenix, from Cottam, who is setting off on the Himalyan 100 Mile Stage Race.

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A picturesque 100-mile trek across the Himalayas is the mammoth challenge for a Preston woman raising money for charity.

Toni Phoenix, from Cottam, will set off on the challenge next week which will see her take in views of four of the five highest mountains in the world, including Mount Everest.

Titled the Himalayan 100 Mile Stage Race, it sees competitors running 20 miles a day for five days. The £2,000 challenge is only undertaken by a handful of people from the UK with just 35 people taking part globally.

And 30-year-old Toni, who is doing the race with her boyfriend Elliot Coles, says she feels like she’s in an “exclusive club.”

She said: “I am so excited to set off for India and complete this race. I’m really fortunate in that our CEO at Rethink actively encourages us to take part in charitable endeavours so I’ve been given the time off from work to complete the race and the flexibility to get myself physically and mentally prepared.”

The keen runner and fundraiser hopes her efforts will raise more than £4,000 for four charities including Trust House Lancashire in Preston.

She said: “I got into running by simply wanting to give my head some space at a pretty stressful time in my life earlier in the year. Running made me happy and I felt free with just the outdoors, my trainers and my own thoughts. Before I knew it I was running 15 miles in only the first few weeks! I’ve never run a marathon or any race although I did the 800m and 1500m when I was in school.

“Before we booked we ran 26 miles around Manchester to check we could run the distance and we could! It’s been a tough eight weeks of training but I genuinely think we’re up to the challenge ahead of us and we can’t wait to get going and complete it.”