REMARKABLE Redditch mum Sonia Tudor defied all the doubters to spend her 50th birthday running 50 incredible miles around Arrow Valley Lake.
And she was greeted by a triumphant arch of well-wishers as the big hearted volunteer for cancer charity Macmillan crossed the finishing line.
Every penny raised from her amazing feat will go to boost the charity which took such good care of her mum, who died aged 50, and then her dad who passed away aged 58.
“My mum and dad were in my thoughts all the way and I had a big photo of them which I saw every time I went by the start,” said Sonia.
“Yes, it was my birthday but I knew if I held a party there would be too many missing faces, which is why I decided to set myself this challenge and in the process I gave myself a birthday I will never, ever, forget.
“The support I had was amazing. The least number of runners I had joining me on the way was five. I felt like Madonna out running in Central Park with all her bodyguards.
“I even asked this one bloke if he was prepared to take a bullet for me.”
Sonia, who had vowed to crawl to the finish line if need be, in fact never stopped running.
Setting off at 7am she completed the 50 miles in eight hours 59 minutes running the last lap with her autistic son Alistair, aged 13.
“It was very, very emotional. I’m a strong, independent woman who just puts her head down and gets on with life and it’s only when you reach out into the community that you realise this huge well of goodness that people have,” she said.
It was still an incredible test of will for Sonia who had never run more than 35 miles in training.
“From about the 40 mile mark my bum cheeks felt like they were on fire and I had to dig in, but I floated round that last lap.”
The support never stopped: Supermarkets Morrisons, Asda and Sainsbury all donated water and Lucozade, friends and supporters baked cakes and the refreshment stall alone made £645 for Macmillan on the day.
One friend drove down from Newcastle to support her, another did a 600-mile round trip. Sonia’s training partner Nicky Bailey, who had never run more than 15 miles before, clocked up 32 in support.
Masterminding it all was Sonia’s best mate Lisa Pitts: “My job was to be her No1 cheerleader and make sure she took on enough fluids and energy gels to keep going,” she said.
“There was no way she wasn’t going to do those 50 miles. She is an incredible human being.”
To donate to Sonia’s fundraiser, visit https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/sonia-tudor50