22 May 2020
A determined Curdworth Primary School pupil has raced over 65 miles for charity, smashed her fundraising target, and is now on track to clock up more than £1600 in donations.
Nine-year-old Roxy Thomas donned her running shoes after lockdown meant that her father Darren was unable to participate in two marathons for The Brain Tumour Charity, in memory of his late father, Roxy’s grandfather, Ken Thomas (who was also an avid runner and completed the Birmingham Marathon in 1983).
The year 4 pupil set up a ‘Rox Runs 20 miles’ fundraiser with the initial goal of running a marathon over a week. Once she completed this, she challenged herself to run 20 miles in one go.
Roxy kept on running her way to PBs. Over the past weeks she has been running around her home village and mapped her achievements in an online diary. To date, she has: run a marathon over a week, completed a half marathon non-stop in 2 hours and 30 minutes; recorded her fastest ever 10k; and finished her fastest ever mile in 8 minutes.
She raced to victory on VE Day when she crossed the finish line of a 20 mile non-stop run in an impressive 4 hours and 38 minutes.
Writing on her Just Giving page, Roxy said: “I have been inspired by seeing so many people taking on challenges to raise money for worthy causes during this pandemic. Sadly, so many charities have suffered a loss of funding due to events being cancelled right when that money is needed most! For that reason, I am raising money for Brain Tumour Research, a charity which is incredibly close to mine and my family’s hearts.”
Prior to lockdown, Roxy regularly completed 5k Park Run on a Saturday morning and has also completed a 10k Race for Life Run for Cancer Research.
She said: “Since I started running, I have always dreamed of doing bigger things, and this shows that you can achieve your dreams. I’m so thankful for everyone that has supported me and the charity.”
Roxy’s father, Darren, completed his first marathon in Birmingham in 2017. He had never ran before but was inspired by his father before he passed away. Roxy accompanied her dad when he crossed the finishing line, which inspired her to start running.
Darren was due to run the Brighton Marathon in April 2020 and an Ultra Marathon (52 miles) in July 2020 before they were cancelled.
He said: “We are so proud of Roxy. Not only has she stepped into my running shoes, but she has gone the extra mile by raising more funds and covering more ground than I ever could – and all for a great cause. Dad would be so proud of her too.”
Lisa Dodd, headteacher at Curdworth Primary School, which is part of the Arthur Terry Learning Partnership (ATLP), said she was not surprised by the young runner’s success. Roxy’s talent and drive landed her a part in Les Miserables last year.
Lisa said: “Roxy is amazing – an inspiration to us all. She is one of those children who shines brightly, who puts others first, who never gives up. Everybody at Curdworth Primary School and in our village, are so proud of her achievements and how she has risen the challenge. What a superstar!”
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The Brain Tumour Charity is the world's leading brain tumour charity and the largest dedicated funder of research into brain tumours globally.