Aileen’s marathon effort for campaign

Aileen Robinson with her medal after successfully completing the London Marathon on Sunday.
Aileen Robinson with her medal after successfully completing the London Marathon on Sunday.

A woman originally from Newbiggin who went Down Under in her early 30s came back to the UK to run the London Marathon on Sunday.

And Aileen Robinson has thanked family and friends in Northumberland for their donations as she also took part in the 26.2-mile race to raise money for an international multiple sclerosis (MS) research campaign.

She chose this cause because her sister, Edna, has had progressive MS for 10 years.

Aileen moved to New Zealand with husband, Roy, and two young boys in 1976 when Roy, originally from Ashington, got a job in the country.

Today, the couple live in Wellington. They have two grandchildren – their now adult sons both married Kiwis.

She got into running out there and did her first marathon about 20 years ago.

The 72-year-old, who still has a Northumberland accent, said: “I enjoy running and I’ve done half marathons on a regular basis. As I wanted to take part in the London Marathon, I ran a marathon in New Plymouth and did the Wellington Marathon in 2015 and 2016 to ensure I was well-prepared.

“Marathon World Travel (a New Zealand company) does a free trip to the London Marathon spot prize at the Wellington event, which also includes a half marathon.

“I tried to win it for a few years, but was unsuccessful. However, it also takes 25 people from New Zealand to the race if you sign up and make a booking if selected.

“I applied for the 2017 marathon in 2015, but there were plenty of other applications for 2017 even at that point, so I was thrilled to be on the list.

“Sunday was brilliant. There are so many supporters by the side of the road and along with the music played, it helps to keep you going.

“I was delighted to finish in five hours, 29 minutes and 44 seconds as my target time was five hours and 30 minutes.

“Once again Roy was there to support me and I wanted to do the London Marathon this year as it’s our golden wedding anniversary next week.

“I’m grateful to everyone who has made a donation, including family and friends in Northumberland, and we’re continuing our stay in the county to celebrate our golden wedding with them.

“When we return home, hopefully I will have reached the 4,000 New Zealand Dollars target for the Kiss Goodbye to MS campaign.”