Wonder Woman Maria completes her charity nifty fifty challenge in Hitchin!

Maria Esson

Maria Esson - Credit: Archant

A Hitchin gym manager who decided to mark her milestone 50th birthday by taking on fifty fitness challenges for various charities has completed her half century!

Maria Esson

Maria Esson - Credit: Archant

Maria Esson, who has worked at Archer’s Health & Fitness at Fishponds Road swimming centre for 16 years chose to mark her nifty fifty by taking on 50 demanding fitness activities since the spring.

And sporty Maria finally ticked off the last test on Sunday by completing the Hitchin Town Centre 5km race – held before the Cobbled Classic Cycling event in Market Place. Maria, who has also cycled 140km across some of the most rugged terrain in Wales, run this year’s London Marathon, as well as night runs, nine Race For Life events, and a series of 5km and 10km races, has already raised more than £2,300 for two charities, Ability Bow, and Letchworth’s Garden House Hospice Care.

Maria – who was born and bred in Hitchin, and was a pupil at St Andrews Primary School in Benslow Lane as a child spoke to the Comet after she finished her last race. She said: “As soon as I finished the race on Sunday and stopped moving I felt every ache upon ache in my whole body!

“It was like my body was trying to tell me something. I’m sad the challenge is over but my body needs a bit of a break.

“Saying that I went to work at Archer’s first thing on Monday morning and took a spin class at 7am. People were very kind to me.

“I have to say a big thank you to everyone who has donated – whether it be friends, family or gym members.

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“I’ve had people stopping me in the street and handing me money for the cause. My goal is to reach £2,500 for Garden House Hospice Care.”

Two of Maria’s loyal colleagues Kelly Middleton and Rachel Toon bought her a Wonder Woman supehero outfit to wear during Sunday’s race. Maria added: “Thanks to Kelly and Rachel for the outfit. I wore it during the race but I won’t be wearing it again anytime soon.

“My parents are poorly but my brother took them to watch me. They said they were so proud of me. I’d like to do something next year – but I need a week or two off first.”

To donate search for Maria Esson on virginmoneygiving.com.

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