Posted 14 November 2014
Running isn’t always easy, especially when the weather is bad and motivation levels drop. But it helps that I know I am running for a great charity – through sheer grit and determination, I will do it!"
A third year Harper Adams student is set to take on the Virgin London Marathon in 2015 – a little over a year since she started running.
Tori Jeffery, 20, from Wakefield, aims to complete the 26.2-mile route around the capital to raise money for the charity Action on Hearing Loss – which is close to her heart.
“I grew up half deaf and have first-hand experience of just how hard it is to live life without full hearing,” Tori explained. “Luckily my hearing was restored when I was eight, after various operations, but the work of such an amazing charity is vital – research needs to continue.
“Hearing loss also has a massive effect on the elderly. Having worked with the elderly in my previous role as a home care assistant, I know just how meaningful it is to still be able to have some hearing through old age,” said Tori, who worked part-time for Shrewsbury’s Radfield Home Care during her first two years as a student.
But the marathon also represents a significant milestone for Tori’s own health. “Since losing three stone in weight before I started university in 2012, I have been trying to keep fit and keep the weight off. In the beginning I went to the gym, but I started to get bored of the routine and was finding it difficult to fit sessions around student life.
“So in January 2014 I decided to try running – and I haven’t really looked back! It gave me a new challenge to focus on and helps to keep the weight off,” adds Tori, who is currently on a one-year work placement with fresh pork producer Cranswick, in Hull, as part of her food and consumer studies degree.
Her first organised race was at Harewood House in April. Tori has since taken part in several running events, including Market Drayton 10k – where she achieved a personal best despite a strapped-up achilles, and her first half marathon in Warrington in September. She is now working with a trainer to build up toLondon in April, when she hopes to complete the distance in less than 5 hours.
While on placement Tori, a former pupil of Outwood Grange Academy, Wakefield, is a member of the Hull Harriers and is enjoying having company during the club’s weekly runs.
Her placement has seen her so far work in a technical role, dealing with suppliers. After Christmas she will be in new product development. “I’m really enjoying it”, she said. “The work is very varied – some days I am on the farm, sometimes in the office and there are also events. It links in really well to my course, which is providing me with a well-rounded education in food production – something I have been interested in since I was very young.
“My experience at Harper Adams has been great. It’s one community but not too big. At some universities I would be just another student but at Harper Adams everyone knows each other and it creates a really positive environment.” Tori will return to the campus following her placement year to complete her studies ahead of graduation in September 2016. In the meantime, she has plenty of training to do and money to raise.
She said: “Running isn’t always easy, especially when the weather is bad and motivation levels drop. But it helps that I know I am running for a great charity – through sheer grit and determination, I will do it and I would be really grateful for all the support I can get!”
To help her reach her fund-raising target of £1,850, visit her fundraising page.
Tori is also logging her progress via her blog.