A PAIR of Marches School Sixth Form students are preparing to run a half marathon to raise funds for research into a neuromuscular disorder.

Emma Morris and Amber Hunt are hoping to achieve their goal of completing a half marathon when they take on the Shrewsbury Half Marathon to raise funds and awareness for Charcot-Marie-Tooth (CMT) UK.

The pair are running for the charity after Emma’s brother, Jacob, was diagnosed with the condition.

After 20 weeks of training, the two 17-year-olds will take to the start line on Sunday.

Emma said the pair are glad to be running for a cause that they are now so familiar with.

“We’ve always wanted to do it really,” she said.

“We trained for the Oswestry half-marathon years ago, but we were too young to compete when the event came around.

“So after that we decided to leave the running for a bit, until now so we decided to do the Shrewsbury one.

“Then Jacob told me about the charity and I thought it would be a really good idea to run in aid of that.

“We’ve got separate JustGiving pages; Amber has raised £300 after setting a target of £200, and I’ve raised upwards of £400 with a target of £500, so hopefully I can reach that.”

Jacob was diagnosed with the condition, which affects the lower half of his body, particularly his calves and thighs.

Since his diagnosis, Emma has been working to raise awareness of CMT by speaking at church and at the school.

She added: “It’s pretty much a new disorder that’s come to light.

“There is a lot of research being done surrounding the condition, because there isn’t an awful lot known about it.

“Jacob is really grateful [that we’re running for the charity]; no-one in school knew what the condition was before Jacob came here, and some GPs don’t really know what it is either because it’s so new.

“There has been so much support, it’s been incredible. Everyone at school and my family have been so supportive.”

Amber said she is also pleased to see the level of support the two friends have received since starting their training.

She said: “It’s incredible how you get so many people who don’t know what CMT is, but they’re so willing to hear you out and try to understand what it is.

“I’ve had about 50 people donate now, and only one of them said they’ve heard of CMT and that’s because he’s got it.

“It’s nice to see people want to know about it and want to hear you out.”

Both Amber and Emma have been fitting training in around their studies, and although there have been some difficulties along the way, they can not wait to cross the finish line.

Emma said: “We’ve had a training programme for 20 weeks.

“It’s been a lot; I only have one rest day a week so along with schoolwork, it’s quite difficult.

“It’s been ok and I’ve started to enjoy it as it’s gone on.”

Amber added: “My training was going well until I sprained my ankle about five weeks ago.

“So I had a week off, and then came back and sprained my other ankle, so I’ve had to stop training for now.

“I’m just waiting until the event day now before I do anymore running and just hoping my ankles hold out on the day.

“I’m not going for a fast time now because of a few weeks without training now.”

To sponsor the teenagers visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/emma-morris76 for Emma and www.justgiving.com/fundraising/amber-hunt2 for Amber.