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Hoey targets challenge record in fundraiser

As anybody who has done it will tell you, the Full Triangle Challenge part of the Bermuda Marathon Weekend is not for the faint-hearted.

However, six have decided to tackle the mile, 10-kilometre and full marathon between the Friday night and Sunday morning for a good cause, raising funds for PALS, a charity that cares for those with cancer.

Rose-Anna Hoey, a Bermuda Day Half Marathon winner two years ago, is prepared to put herself through the ultimate test of trying to break the six-year-old women's Full Challenge record of 4hr 0min 35sec set by former Bermuda resident Dawn Richardson in 2009.

“I checked with Stephen DeSilva [Bermuda Timing] and he confirmed that is the fastest time it has every been done in, so I'm very nervous about taking it on because it is a very challenging event,” said Hoey, who works as an Occupational Therapist at the hospital. PALS is a charity close to her heart.

“I've done the challenge before, so I thought I'd up the ante and try to raise money for PALS and try to break the record. I'm putting a lot of miles on the road and maxed out an 80-mile week a few weeks ago and I'm hoping to get two more heavy mileage weeks in and then start my taper for race weekend.”

The five others, Kate Tomkins, Matthew Viney, Nicole Rozon, Anne Kermode and Ali Hochberg, are also raising money for the PALS cause, with Viney and Tomkins attempting their first marathons. Hoey knows from experience what to expect from the three gruelling races.

“I've done it once, I attempted it a second time but fell and busted my knee so I had to stop, so there's a bit of unfinished business,” Hoey said. “I ran the marathon about 3:25 or something so it was way off the Full Challenge record.”

Richardson set the record in the second year of the challenge when she finished second overall, beating 27 males in the process. She left Bermuda in April that year to return to England, leaving behind the record she hopes one day will be broken.

“We're all doing it for PALS, Kate actually came up with the idea,” Hoey said. “She's a nurse here at King Edward and Matthew's mom is a PALS nurse

“The reason we chose PALS is obviously it touches a lot of people in Bermuda, a kind of charity that's close to everybody's heart.

“Anybody I've spoken to describe the PALS nurses as angels. I work at Agape House at times and the work they do is absolutely fantastic for everybody in Bermuda.

“It's such an inclusive charity that it doesn't matter who you are, or where you're from, they take care of you.

“We talked about it and we would love to raise $10,000, so all raising about $1,500 each, hopefully we can manage that. Everybody else has their own targets but Matthew and Kate are doing their first marathon so they are extremely brave to take on the Full Challenge, and that's why we decided to do it as a charity event.

“Anne [Kermode] is actually an ‘ultra' runner so she has done two or three times the distance in one day.”

Hoey ran the mile and half-marathon last year, finishing second to Jennifer Alen in the mile.

“I've been doing an awful lot of long runs, guided very much by my coach Victoria Fiddick as to what my programme should contain,” Hoey said. “I've been training a lot with my friend Deon [Breary] as well, and Deon is going to go for the half-marathon.

“I feel I'm very endurance-trained at the moment, and I'm not even attempting [the local elite race] in the Front Street Mile this year. I feel strongly that I need to focus on the longer distances. I didn't do the miles trials, and I'll miss that this year but I feel that's the right decision to make.

“I tend to do well at longer distances, even though I've won the Front Street. I like the longer distances, getting into a pace and focusing on what my body is doing and trying for the goal that I'm going for. I quite enjoy that.”

To make an online donation for the runners competing for PALS, go to www.pals.bm and choose “make a donation”. Then choose the “in support of” which is a drop-down menu that will show “running for PALS”. After that put the runners name and proceed through the payment process.

Upping her miles: Hoey, centre, takes part in the Fidelity International 5K road race before going on her real weekend run (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

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Published December 16, 2015 at 8:00 am (Updated December 15, 2015 at 8:39 pm)

Hoey targets challenge record in fundraiser

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