Kirsty’s Marathon Challenge for Happy Days

Having run a marathon in York previously, Kirsty Carver had vowed never to attempt another but the sight of people queuing outside the Gathering Place on Saturday mornings inspired her to do it all one more time.

Spurred on by the cost-of-living crisis and the reality she saw in her local area, Kirsty applied for a place in the 2022 London Marathon, realising her chances of getting through the ballot were small.

Against all the odds, Kirsty secured her place at the first attempt and launched into her training programme.

Training was not a smooth process, as she encountered difficulties such as catching and recovering from Covid and having competing commitments at weekends.

By the time Kirsty stood on the starting line on October 2, she been in training for 6 months.

“Two weeks before the race it’s advised that you do a 20-mile run as practice, which feels almost as gruelling as the real thing,” Kirsty recalls.

“The marathon was very difficult – the hardest endurance test you can undertake, both physically and mentally,” she adds.

Kirsty runs for Halifax Harriers, and she had the company and support of six team-mates in the marathon.

“I was surprised and delighted by the overwhelming support from the crowd for the full 26 miles, and the wonderful atmosphere among the runners, as everyone was doing it for charity,” she says.

“My particular highlight was crossing the Thames over London Bridge, which was a special moment.”

Running independently, Kirsty raised £323 for us – a sum that will pay for enough food parcels to feed around 16 whole families for three days. She said that because we are a local charity making a visible difference, it helped her to gain sponsorship.

For people who would like to attempt a marathon, Kirsty advises joining a running club such as Halifax Harriers for motivation – the group have recently been doing the Couch to 5k programme for new starters. She also recommends taking part in the Park Run at Shroggs Park every week on a Saturday.

Our huge thanks go out to Kirsty and we’re in awe of her amazing achievement. If you would like to raise money for us in any capacity, we’d love to hear from you at