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CHALLENGE ANN: Mayor joins inspirational Ruislip woman on marathon mission

 Published on: 7th July 2023   |   By: Darius Morgan   |   Category: Uncategorized

An inspirational woman from Ruislip is edging closer to completing her epic fundraising challenge.

Ninety-nine-year-old Ann Johnson is matching the equivalent of the London Marathon in a series of walks around the running track at King’s College Playing Fields in Ruislip.

Almost every day, Ann can be found completing a lap around the track as she raises money for the Macular Society and The Guide Dogs for the Blind Association.

Today, with more than 60 laps under her belt and just seven miles to go, Ann was joined by the new Hillingdon Mayor, councillor Shehryar Ahmad-Wallana, Ruislip Ward councillor Pete Smallwood, and friends from Poplars Care Home where she is a resident.

The sun was shining as the unlikely group strolled around the track, but Ann’s daughter Margaret said that it wouldn’t have mattered if it was snowing, Ann would still be out there.

Margaret said: “She’s so determined. When it’s raining she says “it’s only water”, when it’s cold she says “just bring another jumper”.

“It’s all about raising awareness for her charities. Macular disease is the biggest reason for blindness, especially in the elderly, but most people don’t know about it. Mum has raised almost £5,000 now which is fantastic.”

Cllr Smallwood said: “She’s fantastic. I hope that the people of Ruislip will be generous and give to her as she heads towards the marathon distance in her 100th year. I hope I’ll be like Ann when I’m 99!”

Mayor Ahmad-Wallana said: “The best part of being mayor is meeting hidden gems like Ann. She’s an inspiration.”

At the beginning of the challenge, Ann would struggle to make it a quarter of the way around the track, but now regularly manages a lap and then some.

The ever-cheerful Ann laughed: “I’ll be running soon!”

Updates on Ann’s progress can be found online here.

You can donate to Ann’s fundraiser here.

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