Librarian runs to every library in West Sussex in training for London Marathon 2023
Amy, principal librarian for digital access at West Sussex Library Service, is running the marathon on Sunday for Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation in memory of her aunty, Belinda Manns, and uncle, Keiran O’Brien.
She is also running in support of friends and colleagues currently undergoing treatment for cancer and has so far raised £2,336. Visit justgiving.com/fundraising/amy-perry9 to make a donation.
Amy, who is based at Worthing Library, said this is not her first marathon so she decided to set herself an extra challenge – combining two of her favourite things by running between all of the 36 public libraries in West Sussex, a distance of more than 200 miles, over the course of her training.
She said: "Since running my first marathon in my garden during lockdown in April 2020, I have kept on running and London will be my ninth marathon.
"When I first started planning my running routes, I wondered how I was going to find my way between all the libraries without having to run down busy roads with no pavements. However, I soon realised that an incredible network of footpaths and bridleways exists across the whole county and even in the most urban areas you can head off the beaten track into nature.
"I used some of the many walking routes available online, especially on the Slow Ways website, which aims to create a network of walking routes connecting all the UK’s towns and cities. I’ve never had a great sense of direction and at times on this journey have been impressively lost, adding extra mileage to already lengthy routes.
"I nearly ran a marathon by mistake one day! While trying to find my way to Storrington Library in the mist up a steep muddy field was definitely a low point, encountering a whole herd of deer when slightly lost in woods near Pulborough was really quite magical. Friends from Foxy Ladies Running Club have got very lost and muddy with me on some of the routes. On my solo runs, eAudiobooks have kept me company, all downloaded free to my phone with my library card from West Sussex eLibrary of course!
"Over the past few months, I’ve absolutely loved exploring our wonderful county with its variety of landscapes from sea to downs, salt marshes to high streets. Not only have I’ve learned how to navigate without getting lost, but also that in West Sussex you’re never far away from a library, beautiful wildlife and astonishing amounts of mud!”
To find your local library and join online for free, visit the West Sussex Libraries website.