The director of Penryn-based Flicka Foundation Donkey Sanctuary has completed her own 'London Marathon' in a paddock to raise vital funds for her charity’s work.

Judy Giles, 61, completed 78 laps of one of the large paddocks on site at the sanctuary yesterday (Sunday, April 26) when the London Marathon was due to take place.

Judy set herself this challenge, a total of 26.2 miles, last minute and hoped to raise at least £100 for every mile she completed, to help support the charity during the Covid-19 lockdown.

The response has far exceeded her expectations, with donations already received of £5,320, and still coming in.

Judy said: "I did the London Marathon in 2009 when I lost my mum, to raise money for the Flicka Foundation and a cancer charity.

"Last year I had put myself into the ballot box but was unsuccessful. In a way I was relieved because I didn't really have the time to dedicate myself to the training.

"The week before the paddock marathon I did some laps around the top paddock, I did up to ten laps to train a bit."

South West Farmer:

Judy completing her 26.2 mile challenge

The challenge took Judy seven hours to complete, starting at 4am. The grass was very wet first thing, so she had to start running in a pair of short wellies at first, but soon changed into her London Marathon trainers and completed the 26.2 miles with a combination of short runs, jogging and walking.

"I kept track of laps with notches on a fence rail and think I actually lost count and may have ended up doing 81 laps!", she said.

"The last 20 were the toughest, my knees started to ache and my upper thighs started really burning… but I'm just glad I managed to finish.

"The field is a slope so half of it was uphill! I didn't think that bit through.

"Only the donkeys were my audience. I'm sure they wondered what on earth I was doing."

Donkeys Yogi, Teddy and Sam joined Judy for a number of laps and were very interested in the whole event, whilst cheeky donkey Jeremy even tried to 'help' remove her running trainers as she recovered at the end.

South West Farmer:

Donkey Jeremy trying to remove Judy's trainers at the end of the marathon

Judy said she is very tired today but she's fine. She has been bowled over by the generous support the charity has received during this time from local people. She said:

"I have to say the Flicka Foundation has a very warm, passionate and dedicated following.

"We're very concious that all charities are struggling. Unfortunately there is no help for animal charities during this challenging time.

"We've had some very generous donations of hay and straw and carrots have been flooding in. We really can't thank the generosity of the local people enough. It's been amazing."

If you would like to donate in response to Judy's amazing achievement, please visit her JustGiving page,