Move aside Paula Radcliffe and Nell McAndrew.

A 150-strong group of volunteers will give the professionals a run for their money – as they put their best foot forward to raise vital funds for the Sick Kids Friends Foundation (SKFF). The courageous supporters will tackle a number of distances including a 26-mile run at this year’s Edinburgh Marathon Festival to fundraise for the children’s charity.

The event is being held on 26-27 May 2012 and volunteers will be sponsored to run either a 1.5km, 3km, 5km, 10km, a relay, a half marathon or the marathon.The team of challengers is responsible for raising over £10,000 in sponsorship to date.

Mum-of-two Fiona Harvey began training for the 10km with friends when she discovered her daughter, five-year-old Emily, will need to under-go a major leg lengthening procedure later this year.

She said:- “Before January, I never ran anywhere. Yes, I could run for the bus but that was it. When we were told about Emily’s operation, I wanted to do everything in my power to support the Sick Kids Friends Foundation.

“I know that they will be there for Emily and our family when we need them the most so it is a pleasure to do this for them. The charity has a fantastic reputation in Edinburgh and they have helped so many people.”

Twenty-three-year-old India Dodgson, a volunteer with the Sick Kids Friends Foundation, is looking forward to pulling on her running shoes to raise money for the charity and is also encouraging others to do the same.

She said- “I work in the Drop-In Centre, which is the only one of its kind in the UK. It has been up and running for six years and it provides a facility for children and families to go to outwith the hospital.

“My work at the Drop-In Centre is very important to me and I want to do everything I can to help raise funds to keep it running I have seen first hand how imperative this service is but it takes money to do this and so I have enrolled in the marathon. I ran the half marathon two years ago and decided this year to take on the full 26-miles.”

The Drop-In Centre is funded entirely by SKFF, which donates £150,000 a year to run it – and is India’s motivation to run the marathon and raise as much money as possible.

“If you would like to join our team and take part in the Edinburgh Marathon Festival this is your opportunity to do so.”

Rachel McKenzie, community fundraising manager of the Sick Kids Friends Foundation said:- “We are very grateful and touched by each of the 150 people who are running for the Sick Kids Friends Foundation.

“Our runners have given up a huge amount of time to train and to raise money for the charity – we can’t thank them enough.

“SKFF depends on the generosity of people and we wish India, Fiona and our Sick Kids running team of 2012 all the best for the Edinburgh Marathon Festival this month.”

Entry to the half and full marathon has now closed but there are still SKFF charity places available for anyone who would like to enter a team for the relay, 1.5km, 3km, 5km, or 10km event.  Anyone interested should contact Rachel on 0131 668 4949 or visit