Langford’s Holly, 12, runs half marathon and raises over £500 for Stevenage Haven

PUBLISHED: 08:30 12 March 2020

Holly ran alongside mum Amanda and was joined by dad Anthony, sister Lucy and some other supporters for the last leg of the run. Picture: Courtesy of Amanda Smith

Holly ran alongside mum Amanda and was joined by dad Anthony, sister Lucy and some other supporters for the last leg of the run. Picture: Courtesy of Amanda Smith

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A 12-year-old girl intent on helping people in need has raised more than £500 for homeless charity Stevenage Haven by completing a half marathon.

Holly received a special medal from her family for her monumental effort. Picture: Courtesy of Amanda SmithHolly received a special medal from her family for her monumental effort. Picture: Courtesy of Amanda Smith

Holly Smith - who lives in Langford - trained hard for her personal challenge and, having never done anything like this before, completed 13.1 miles in two hours 47 minutes on Sunday.

Too young to enter a planned event, Holly plotted her route from Langford to Letchworth - via Arlesey and Stotfold - with the help of her parents Amanda and Anthony.

Holly, who did the run alongside her mum, said: 'I feel very proud of myself for completing a half marathon. It was hard because it felt like a long way, but I still kept going.

'Miles 10 to 12 were the hardest - my mum and I played the alphabet game to take my mind off running.

'When we got close to the end, my dad, sister Lucy and a few others joined me, which made me feel special.

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'Finishing the run felt amazing and I feel so happy I have raised so much money for a good cause.'
Pearl Pearce-Smith, fundraising manager for Stevenage Haven, said: 'We are exceptionally proud of Holly's efforts. For such a young girl to reach not only such a brilliant physical challenge but also to fundraise over £500 for our cause, we are extremely grateful.

'It is generosity like Holly's that keeps our two sites running and we would like to not only thank Holly but also encourage others to get involved with activities like this that can raise money for people in need.'

Holly's family are immensely proud of her efforts. Mum Amanda said: 'Holly has shown incredible determination throughout this challenge and there are not enough words to express how proud I am of her.

'On Sunday she had to get up at 6am to allow enough time to eat breakfast before starting the route at 7am, but she got up without complaint and took the whole experience in her stride.

'During the run, her mental attitude was amazing. Even when she started to struggle with tired legs while running up hills, she kept going and never questioned that she would complete it.

'There is no doubt about it, she is a superstar!'

There is still time to support Holly by making a donation. Visit virginmoneygiving.com and search for 'Amanda Smith'.

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