10th Apr, 2021

Online friends meet for first time as they cross finishing line of 100k challenge for NHS Charities

Sarah Mason 31st Mar, 2021

FITNESS fanatics who met online during the first lockdown came together for the first time as they crossed the finishing line of a joint charity 100k run.

Marsha Hughes, Teresa James and Furzana Walji from Solihull came together in Brueton Park on Monday (March 29) when the rule of six returned to complete the last three kilometers of their challenge for NHS Charities.

This was the first time the trio met in person after meeting through an online zumba classes last March and they carried on conversations from classes into a WhatsApp group where their friendship grew.

Marsha, who works at the University of Warwick Medical School, also took up running last March.

She decided to take on a 100k challenge throughout March to raise funds for NHS charities because she said the NHS is our hero and there is no better charity.

Zumba teacher Furzana, who is married to an NHS consultant and fellow zumba teacher Teresa, who is also a midwife and has trained to be vaccinator during the pandemic, teamed up with Marsha for the month-long challenge.

They also wanted to raise £500 for the charity – but thanks to loved ones and new found online friends they have raised more than £1,200.

The three set out on the challenge separately in line with government guidelines and faced snow, below freezing temperatures and high winds in the lead up to their final three kilometers.

Marsha said: “It was a beautiful sunny day and a big day of relaxing the rules so for a lot of us it was the first time out and seeing people. I remember seeing Fuz for the first time and then Teresa as I’ve only seen them on screen.

“We had such a lot of support from our Zumba family and the final 3k run in Brueton park where a few of the Zumba family turned out to see us.

“In the last 3k we run, laughed and chatted.

“Fuz was the fastest and was keeping pace to make us finish in 20 minutes.

“We felt close as if we’d been friends for ages.

“Then we crossed the line together which was a brilliant feeling but we couldn’t hug of course. We had lots of cheers.”

For more or to donate visit https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Marsha-Hughes1

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