Entrepreneur, Liz Hutchings, the founder and director of the franchise brand, ‘Total Guide to’ has completed her first Ultra Marathon. The reason? It’s all in aid of the Alzheimer’s Society.

She recently completed the 50k (32 miles) Run to the Sea Ultra Marathon alongside her Marine husband Ross. She did it in five hours 11 minutes. So far, the couple have raised £1,155 for the charity that is very close to their hearts. Liz lost her ‘Nanny Joy’ to the cruel disease.

Liz said: ‘We wanted to do our bit to help raise some money and more awareness for the Alzheimer’s Society. There is so much more to do regarding research, diagnosis, treatment and support for the families of those affected. My Nan would’ve loved watching us running through the mist in the woods, laughing in the pouring rain and battling against the wind.’

Total Guide Founder Alzheimer's Run -Liz Hutchings and her husband Ross
Liz & Ross

The ultra marathon

The Ultra Marathon took place in Dorset near Bournemouth. It traversed a scenic route from Moors Valley Country Park to Hengistbury Head. It followed the Castleman Trailway for part of the way. And then went along the stunning Bournemouth seafront with a variety of terrain including forest trails and coastal paths.

Liz’s husband, Ross, thought it would be a fun way to mark Liz’s 40th birthday last August. Something special for them to achieve together so he signed them up!

So, Liz fitted in hours of hard training including taking part in two full marathons alongside running a business and caring for her two young daughters, Florence (five) and Phoebe (two). But Ross did far less training believing his physical fitness as a marine would suffice!

‘How wrong could he have been?’ asked Liz. ‘I expected Ross to smash through it in true military style. But, although he started off in high spirits despite the weather being windy and miserable, he hit his low point at around the twenty mile mark. Meanwhile I still felt as fresh as a daisy!’

Everything worked out in the end

But, it all worked out as while Ross had to take a little walk, this suited Liz so she could stretch her injured feet!  During training, Liz received a diagnosis of a condition called Morton’s Neuroma. This condition causes trapped nerves and a sharp, burning pain in the ball of the feet. She’d been advised to stop running for six weeks but her determination to get the job done overrode that!

The husband and wife pair supported each other all the way through and finished in a much faster time than expected.

The training all paid off when it mattered,’ said Liz. ‘I should have had more faith in myself and the process. But I took the whole race very steady and had loads left in the tank at the end. I can’t help thinking that I run the business like that as well.’

The Total Guide franchise

Liz, who is behind the ‘Total Guide to’ franchise that has digital community news platforms in Swindon, Bath, Bristol, Cardiff, Manchester, Poole, Reading and Swindon, helps businesses to succeed, people to thrive and places to come alive. The Swindon site is the parent site and was set up by Liz, who now is a qualified franchise professional.

She now believes that running the ultra marathon has taught her a valuable lesson for her business.

It was a wonderful thing for my husband and me to do together. And for our children to witness and be a part of. But raising £1,155 for a charity that means so much to us and many other people, has given me some direction for the business in 2023. I’m going to make some investments and take a few risks to grow. And I’m going to start believing more in my own ability!’

It’s still possible to donate to Liz and Ross’ Just Giving page and donate to the Alzheimer’s Society by visiting:

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