A BOURNEMOUTH woman has made an incredible recovery from a riding accident to complete a 29-mile run for charity.
Lydia Mashin, 24, is one of the Costwold Outdoor staff taking on a UK-wide relay covering 3,000 miles via canoes, rollerblades and even abseiling to raise money and awareness for the not-for-profit spinal cord research organisation Wings For Life.
After breaking two vertebrae in a horse riding accident seven years ago, Lydia took more than 18 months to recover and, initially, struggled to walk even short distances.
Lydia, who works at the Bournemouth branch of Cotswold Outdoor ran the 29-mile leg of the relay between Salisbury and Bournemouth alongside her colleague Cameron Melville.
Although she cannot make the schedule relay date on July 15, when the baton will be carried from the Bournemouth store to Salisbury by bicycle, Lydia was determined to complete the distance anyway, given her strong personal connection with the Wings For Life charity.
She said: “For me, this challenge is particularly special as it something that, due to my accident, I felt I would never be able to achieve.
“Initially, walking 20m was a challenge in itself, let alone the thought that one day I may be able to run a marathon, and further.”
The relay, which started on Sunday, June 29, will see a baton passed by store staff between all 69 of Cotswold Outdoor’s UK stores from Fort William to Truro.
Later this summer, the relay will come to a spectacular finish at the Piccadilly store in London and the baton, engraved with the participants’ names, will then be framed and housed at Cotswold Oudoor’s Kemble HQ.
Donations will be collected along the way and in-store to help Wings For Life fund clinical studies and research to find a cure for spinal cord injuries.