A road-running grandmother will be getting her marathon kicks in Chicago this year as part of the trip of a lifetime – after an entry form mix-up.
Beth Taylor-Lloyd, 43, from Ruthin, thought she had applied to run the Berlin Marathon but instead found she will be headed for the USA later this year.
It will be just the start of an amazing experience as Beth tackles the Chicago run along the shores of Lake Michigan and through the streets of the Windy City before swapping running shoes for four wheels on Route 66 with husband Gareth.
The legal assistant with leading North Wales law firm Swayne Johnson also aims to raise a packet of money for a charity close to her heart, the Motor Neurone Disease Association, after a friend’s dad died from the debilitating illness.
Beth was inspired to tackle a second marathon – she made her debut in London last year – by the courage of the late Peter Ryland, former landlord of the Farmers Arms in Ruthin who battled the disease for two years before passing away in 2015.
Beth works part-time behind the bar at the pub for Peter’s daughter, Becky Owens, and is being backed by the family including Peter’s widow, Gill, and she’s is hoping regulars at the popular pub get behind her.
Gill said: “The locals here have been very generous when Becky did the ice bucket challenge and with donations at the funeral. They’ve been really lovely.
“I’m so grateful to them and so pleased that Beth is doing this in aid of the charity which is very supportive to the families of the victims of this horrible disease.
“Motor Neurone Disease just robs you of the person. Pete was very active and loved to chat to people, he could talk the hind leg off a donkey, but it took away his voice.”
Beth added: “Pete was so popular and was a lovely man so I would like to raise money for the fight against this awful illness for Becky’s sake.”
Beth’s employers, Swayne Johnson, who have six offices across North Wales and Cheshire, at Ruthin, Denbigh, St Asaph, Llandudno, Bangor and Tattenhall, near Chester, are chipping in to the charity.
Sarah Noton, Swayne Johnson Managing Director, said: “Beth loves a challenge and when she found Chicago had accepted her invitation she snapped it up.
“It will be a fantastic experience and I’m sure Beth will love it and it’s typical of her that she is doing it for such a worthy charity and for her friends.”
Beth, from Parc y Dre, Ruthin, has a daughter, Alex, a son, Cai, and an 18-month-old grandson, Tomi, and she said: “I’m running a couple of times a week and I do a longer run at weekends so I should be ready – it’s important to do the hard work beforehand so that you can enjoy the actual day, that’s what I found in London.
“It was a bit of a shock when I found I’d been accepted for Chicago – I thought I’d entered for Berlin.
“But my husband, Gareth, said we’d make it a special one so after the marathon we’re going to hire a car and drive Route 66 to San Francisco and fly home from there.”
For more on Swayne Johnson go to http://www.swaynejohnson.com/