FUNDRAISING NEWS: WHY I GIVE - Jenny Allen

Jenny Allen, 92, ran 30 marathons between 1983 and 2002, for various charities. Her best time was four hours and 21 minutes (Dundee, 1985).

Her final effort took over 11 hours and made her the oldest woman, at age 90, to ever run a marathon.

Which charities have you supported through your marathon runs? I began in 1983 by supporting local charities and raised £1,000 for the Dundee Sports Association for the Disabled, of which I was a member. I generally picked a different charity each year, apart from Cystic Fibrosis, Help the Aged, Children's Hospices Association Scotland, and Nine Welles Cancer Campaign, for which I ran more than once.

What was the most money you raised in one go? In 1988 I raised £6,000 for Help the Aged, because they did a lot of fundraising for me. I have raised a grand total of £45,000.

What made you give up? My feet and knees finally gave way. The money kept me going. But I still support charities, this time through doing sponsored walks.

Had you always been a successful runner? No. When I filled in my first entry form aged 70, I hadn't run 100 yards before. But I was bitten by the bug and kept going because I was afraid to stop and lose my fitness.

Did you exploit your media coverage when requesting sponsors? No. I just told them all how old I was.

What is the most annoying thing about being approached by charities?

I sometimes had to turn them down because I was already booked. I didn't get asked much because each year I made sure that I told the TV cameras which charities I would be running for the following year.

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