Mother and daughter marathon challenge raises hundreds for CAFOD

Lewry family selfie

Lewry family selfie

Intrepid mother and daughter duo, Jo and Anna-Maria Lewry, are celebrating the completion of a marathon distance - all in aid of the coronavirus appeal from international development charity, CAFOD.

Jo and Anna-Maria were looking for a way to feel connected during the physical distancing of lockdown. They decided to embark on their very own marathon challenge - inspired by the '2.6 Challenge', which was created following the cancellation of the London Marathon.

From Surrey, Jo joined her daughter, Anna-Maria, who lives in East London, in an online Zumba class.

The joint challenge continued as the pair donned trainers. Jo headed off over the Surrey Hills and Anna-Maria completed a ten-mile hike around the River Roding.

Jo said: "We both decided to start the challenge with a Zumba class. I really enjoy Zumba and miss my weekly classes, but at least YouTube has some you can follow. After the walk and a cup of tea, I did another Zumba class to reach a total of 26,000 steps.

"It was a hard challenge. I try to do 10,000 steps every day. With the lockdown, this has been difficult - but I did it! I would like to say a big thank you to my wonderful daughter, Anna-Maria, as doing it together - although virtually - and encouraging each other, made it much easier."

Anna-Maria added: "Taking part in the '2.6 Challenge' was a real challenge but it was something I wanted to do to support my mum and raise money for the CAFOD coronavirus appeal.

"Before lockdown I would easily walk 10,000 steps a day but this has been difficult with the current restrictions, so taking on the challenge of doing 26,000 steps in one day (which is about 13 miles) was something I really wanted to achieve.

"Knowing that I was helping to raise important funds to help those in need, and those affected by the coronavirus, kept me motivated as my legs grew tried. I'm proud to have completed the challenge alongside my mum, despite being miles away from her, as well as raising money for CAFOD."

The pair's chosen charity, CAFOD, has now launched an emergency coronavirus appeal and is scaling up its support for local aid experts around the world. These local experts are providing food to vulnerable families, as well as improving handwashing and sanitation facilities across communities.

CAFOD is also helping churches in developing countries use their networks to share hygiene messages through Catholic radio stations, and to produce posters in local dialects on infection prevention.

Jo continued: "We would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who sponsored us. Your support is really appreciated.

"I know that these funds will be invaluable in the coming weeks and months. As coronavirus spreads around the world it will be devastating for those countries that have fragile health systems. Our support and solidarity will make a massive difference."

Donate to Anna-Maria and Jo's challenge at and find out more about CAFOD's work at:

Tags: CAFOD, Coronavirus, Covid-19, Emergency Appeal, Marathon, Jo and Anna-Maria Lewry

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