A RUNNING coach from Binfield Heath has taken part in a mass participation race in Africa.
Julie Rayfield, 45, was one of 36,000 people to complete the Great Ethiopian Run, a 10km road race at altitude in Addis Ababa, the capital city.
She finished in under an hour and raised more than £2,000 for Womankind Worldwide, a human rights charity.
Mrs Rayfield, a coach at Reading Athletic Club who also runs a weekly running group in Shiplake, had previously run the Amsterdam marathon and the London Marathon twice. She said: “I had always thought the Great Ethiopian Run looked like quite a fun race to do.
“People seemed to be really enjoying it. There was lots of dancing and singing and music being played and it was very busy. Lots of people liked to stop and get a drink in cafés along the way but I managed to finish in under an hour despite people getting in the way!”
Mrs Rayfield, who lives with her husband Stephen and children Alanna, 15, and Emil, 13, was joined by Louise Millward, who works for Womankind Worldwide and fund-raisers Suzanne Trask and Sally Baden. After the race, they spent the rest of their three-day trip seeing the charity’s work first hand.
Mrs Rayfield said: “The charity does great work. Ethiopia is one of the poorest countries in Africa and traditional values mean that women experience inequality in everyday life. These problems include the low percentage of girls who attend secondary education, harmful cultural practices such as female genital mutilation and early forced marriage and one of the highest maternal mortalities in the world.”
To make a donation, visit www.justgiving.com/julie-rayfield1