University student takes on 12-month running fundraiser

A university student is taking on a monumental 12-month running challenge in support of her mum who lives with a muscle-wasting condition. 

Alex Hughes, aged 20 and from Mickley in Northumberland, kicked off her challenge with the Brass Monkey Half Marathon in York on 16 January. 

Alex’s ‘12 in 12’ fundraising challenge will see her complete either a half marathon or 10K race in every month of 2022 – apart from in October when she take on the London Marathon.

Alex’s mum, Bex, was diagnosed with a form of limb girdle muscle dystrophy last year. Bex's condition has progressed to the point that she requires the permanent use of crutches or a wheelchair to move around. 

Alex and her father, Chris, sister, Charlotte, and twin brothers, Tom and Matthew, are now Bex’s main carers. This is especially tricky for Alex, who is in her final year of PE teacher training at university. 

Alex's fundraising page can be reached here:

Alex said:

“I wanted to do something that would really challenge me and my 12 in 12 challenge, which includes the London Marathon, is the perfect opportunity. My family has benefitted hugely from the important work of Muscular Dystrophy UK and I’m determined to help give back to the charity. I am passionate about inspiring other people to take on challenges because while life may throw curveballs at you, we can always work together to make things seem better.” 

Alex’s 2022 race calendar is as follows:

  • January: Brass Monkey Half Marathon in York – 13.1 miles
  • February: Duergar Nightcrawler at Northumberland National Park – 10 miles
  • March: Saturn Running Half Marathon in Durham – 13.1 miles
  • April: Run Media City in Salford – 10K 
  • May: Leeds Half Marathon – 13.1 miles
  • June: Race to be confirmed
  • July: Durham City Run Festival – 10K
  • August: Try on the Tyne in Newcastle - 10K
  • September: Great North Run in Newcastle – 13.1 miles
  • October: London Marathon – 26.2 miles 
  • November: Remembrance Day Run in Durham – 13.1 miles
  • December: Chopwell Woods in Gateshead – 10K

Alex is no stranger to fitness, having previously completed a triathlon. She hopes her runs throughout 2022 will help her persevere with the dreaded running ‘wall’ when she takes on the London Marathon later this year. 

Kiera Santry, MDUK's Senior Challenge Events Officer said:

“Alex’s running challenge will be a monumental life achievement and this a courageous thing to take on. We’re incredibly grateful that Alex has chosen to raise funds and awareness of Muscular Dystrophy at a time when the charity is needed more than ever. The support of people like Alex means so much to us. We wish Alex the best of luck with these challenges, and we’ll be supporting her every step of the way.”