A SUPER-GRAN from near Chirk is taking on her first-ever Ultra Marathon – at the age of 66!

Alyson Winn, from Froncysyllte, near Chirk, is all set for ‘The HOWUM 30’ (the Pegasus Heart of Wales Ultra Marathon) on Saturday.

The tenacious nan is running for Hope House & Tŷ Gobaith children’s hospices, a charity that has previously supported family friends.


Alyson is a dedicated fundraiser who has supported Hope House events including the Llangollen Canal Walk and Dark Runs, enjoying taking part in with grandsons Curtis, Leighton and Liam.

She says: “It’s such a fantastic charity which supports local families caring for a child with a life-threatening condition or whose child has died.

“I have friends whose families have been helped and supported so much at such a difficult time.”

Alison says she first started running seven years ago in a bid to be more healthy.

She said: “I took up running before my 60th birthday. Sadly, some of my close friends had recently died and I became very aware that I was unfit, overweight and a smoker.

“The only exercise I did was walking the dog.

“I decided to do something about it, so I gave up smoking, joined a slimming club, then I signed up for ‘Couch to 5k’. My family thought it was funny and didn’t believe me at first.

“But I loved it. I took part in 5ks, then 10ks. It escalated quickly and I made new running friends. It was really sociable.”

Alyson’s runs gradually became longer until this year she’s signed up for an ultra-marathon.

“Now that I’m doing 30 miles, people aren’t so keen to join me on my longer runs.

“Though running buddy and long-term Hope House supporter Sharon Cowley has joined me on some of my training runs.

“I also enjoy training on my own, at my own pace, taking in the scenery and listening to nature.

The Heart of Wales Ultra Marathon is hilly 30-mile route starting and finishing in Llanidloes including sections of the Sarn, Glyndwr's Way, Severn Way and the Wye Valley Way around the Clywedog Reservoir and up to the source of the River Severn before returning to Llanidloes.

Alyson has recently retired from careers as a nurse, and then a fundraiser and says the secret to long trail runs is to be prepared.

“I like lots of little snacks and water,” she said. “Jam butties are good.

“I’ll also be taking spare clothes in case it’s wet, and sun cream in case it’s hot.”

Alyson has booked herself a Bed and Breakfast for the weekend and is looking forward to pizza and a bath after she’s made the finish line.

She said: “I’m in a slimming club so I’m not really meant to have pizza, but I think I’ll deserve it after that.”

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Alyson is looking to finish in under 10 hours if possible, and hopes to raise more than £300.

She added: “I like a challenge but I’m not obsessed with being fast or being on a podium. It’s about the personal challenge.”

To donate to her cause, head to https://www.justgiving.com/page/alyson-winn-1705867229098?utm_term=3wvgXpY7n&fbclid=IwAR23OxTGGlfsAsi6LpgUfxYl6BHG_xxG35mZdfq-pi7vjh4rtSBI_ymCFoo