(L to R) Alex Hughes, Carol Whitbourn, Lee Hughes, John Hughes (not related) have been training to run the Chester marathon on 2 October.
(L to R)  Alex Hughes, Carol Whitbourn, Lee Hughes, John Hughes (not related) have been training to run the Chester marathon on 2 October.

A team of colleagues from McArthurGlen Cheshire Oaks Designer Outlet say that they are ‘nervous and excited’ about the prospect of running the gruelling Chester marathon on 2nd October.

The five friends made a commitment to run the 26-mile road race to raise funds for Wirral-based Autism Together, a charity providing care and support for five hundred people on the autism spectrum across the region.

This decision followed Cheshire Oaks becoming an Autism Champion last year, forming a partnership with Autism Together and promising to make the needs of people with autism a priority. This is now being achieved with monthly autism-friendly shopping evenings being hosted at the centre.

Two of the five runners are novices and Lee Hughes, 33, Security Manager said that he only started running earlier this year. Lee said, “I’ve lost two stone this year and I’m feeling better and better.  I ran a half marathon last week and felt really confident at the end of that. I know that if I put my mind to something, I will do it, but I still feel like the underdog as some of the team are very experienced runners.”

Other team members include a champion middle distance runner and a former soldier with two marathons under his belt.

Manager of the designer outlet, Kenny Murray, said, “Our partnership with Autism Together has opened our eyes. We now know that one in every hundred people in our region has autism and that this can lead to feelings of isolation and make everyday activities that the rest of us take for granted, like shopping, a struggle. We’re proud of our running group and are rooting for them – they’re doing this for a great cause.”

Fundraising manager for Autism Together, Lindsay Tilston-Jones said, “Cheshire Oaks was one of the first organisations in the north west to be awarded Autism Champion status and they’ve been enthusiastic supporters ever since. The support they give is tremendous, we couldn’t ask for more – and it really does make a difference to people with autism in our region.”

To make a donation please visit: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/cheshireoaksrunningteam


To make a donation please visit the teams JustGiving page here