A FITNESS instructor has completed her first marathon in aid of Ryedale Special Families.

Katherine Bray, who lives in Pickering, took part in the Manchester marathon last month to raise funds towards a new home for the charity.

She said: “As this is a real challenge I wanted to raise some money for my local community, so I chose to run my first-ever marathon for Ryedale Special Families (RSF).

“I know lots of families they help in the local area. They are a wonderful charity that help the families of children with special needs.

“I had started running a little in December as one of my clients had asked me to run with her. It had shocked me how hard I found it after spending the last five years bodybuilding. Running just three miles then, although I could do it, it was hard work, but little by little this had got better and In January I started my training plan.”

Katherine said the last few miles of the marathon were the hardest.

“As I approached the last 1,200 metres, a marshal had a flag and was waving it and shouting, ‘You will see the finish line around the corner’.

“The crowd were amazing, they had been all the way round but down that last 800m it was something else.”

Katherine completed the marathon in 4hrs 16mins and 42 secs.

“I had no idea until I did it how challenging it was going to be. I knew it would be but wow that was really something,” she said.

“It took three days to recover and I was in a daze after a week until it sank in that I had run a marathon. What an experience a real achievement. I have never done anything so physically and mentally demanding.”

RSF, which is based in Old Malton, is aiming to raised £250,000 towards new premises which will benefit the families it supports for decades to come.

Rob Davies, fundraising co-ordinator for RSF, said: “A huge thank you to Katherine for supporting Ryedale Special Families and what a brilliant effort in her first-ever marathon.

“At the start of the year we launched our second phase of fundraising towards our plan to find new premises and as part of that, invited people to take up a personal challenge in order to help. Katherine was one of the very first to come forward and what a brilliant effort.”

For details, go to ryedalespecialfamilies.org.uk