Fife woman’s 7-day marathon through Sahara Desert to raise charity funds

Annalene Coye
Annalene Coye

A Fife woman is to run a brutal seven-day ultra-marathon through the desert to raise funds for Alheimer Scotland.

Annalene Coye (43), from Glenrothes is running with her two dogs most days in preparation for her biggest challenge.

A keen cyclist, Annalene will leave her bike behind to run 150 miles across the Sahara Desert this April.

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When Annalene lost her dad (Andy Coyle) to vascular dementia last July, the cat sitting business woman signed up to the Marathon des Sables in his memory. Despite only running for a year, Annalene has focused all her energy into training for the epic adventure, by taking on three single day ultra marathons as well as weight training and yoga.

Annalene, says: “My dad was diagnosed with bowel cancer, vascular dementia and Alzheimer’s. He recovered from cancer at the age of 88, but went on the decline through his dementia diagnosis. Soon it became too much for mum and the family and eventually dad was moved to a care home where he seemed to flourish for a time.

“I am raising money for Alzheimer Scotland because the charity helps families living with dementia right now, the money isn’t just for research. I know so many families who are going through what we went through with dad and most seem lost and in limbo. Nobody ever seems to know what to expect next. Hopefully by taking part in this extreme challenge, I am helping raise awareness of Alzheimer Scotland and that they can be a big support to families through their helpline and local supports and activities.

“The realisation is just hitting me now that I’ll be heading out to take part in the Marathon des Sables this April and will run 6 marathons in 5 days, in 50 degrees heat. I’ll also be carrying all my camping kit and food for the full duration in a backpack. When dad died I thought it would be a great thing to do in his memory so that’s keep me strong and on track with my preparations. Everybody says he’d be so proud of me, but he’d just think I was just daft.”

Alzheimer Scotland is urging everyone to do something amazing in 2019 for dementia and help raise vital funds to support Alzheimer Scotland as part of our Change Dementia campaign. Whether you’re taking on the ultimate fitness challenge, or looking for a fun way to fundraise, there is something for everyone to take part in. What will you do in 2019? Join #TeamAlzScot today by visiting www.alzscot.org/changedementia

If you want to support Annalene’s fundraising adventure visit her Just Giving page at www.justgiving.com/fundraising/annalene-coyle

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