UK marathon for worthy cause
CROHN'S disease sufferer Claire Maslen will lace up her running shoes to prove the debilitating illness is not necessarily a life sentence.
The English expatriate, 34, will return to the motherland and compete in the London Marathon next year to settle an old score and raise money for research into the condition.
“I want to show people with the disease they can achieve exceptional things if they put their minds to it,” she said.
“I think for many people it's about putting mind over matter and trying not to let it take over their lives.”
Maslen has always harboured a desire to complete the gruelling 42km race, but thought she may never get the chance after being diagnosed with the condition at 26.
“It can be a pretty unpredictable and nasty disease,” she said.
“You really don't know how you'll be from one day to the next.”
The intestinal disease can cause internal bleeding, severe abdominal pain, vomiting and arthritis.
Maslen has spent a turbulent eight years dealing with the condition, but has been able to bring it under control with a combination of medication and exercise.
She will travel to London next April to compete in the famous marathon on behalf of Crohn's Disease UK to help raise awareness of the condition.
“I've got a lot of work to do to prepare for the race, but I'm looking forward to it,” she said.
“It's something I've always wanted to do and I can help raise money for a worthy charity.”
The marathon is run through inner-city London with a course set around landmarks such as Big Ben, the London Bridge and the Houses of Parliament.
Maslen has organised a Latin fusion marathon at YMCA Bundaberg to raise money for the organisation.
The event, to be held on October 23, will feature a gruelling three-hour Latin Fusion dance aerobics session.
Those interested in finding out more about the event, or give a generous donation, can contact Maslen on 0450 124 851.