Bethany Clague on Douglas Promenade
Bethany Clague is the first person to complete the Parish Walk twice (170 miles) in 48 hours. She only stopped once after the first 85 miles for a quick shower, a change of clothes and a bite to eat.
Before setting off on her journey of a lifetime, Bethany told BBC Isle of Man how she had written a prayer to help her through the difficult times.
“The thing about long distance walking is that there are a lot of highs and lows. You don’t know when the lows are coming but you need something to help you through them. I have adapted a prayer which always gives me the strength to carry on.
Bethany takes her place at the startline
“It’s called ‘A prayer for when it hurts’ and it goes like this. Lord god, my body as well as my soul is yours. Help me to use it as I should. Help me to walk with all my strength this weekend and be thankful for the strength you’ve given me.
“Help me also to be strong in mind, not to shrink from the effort of succeeding and to remember I can only do this with the support from my team. Give me courage which doesn’t give to way arrogance, vanity, jealously.”
On her website, Bethany tells describes the difficulties she has faced in her life.
In 1996, only 12 years before her incredible achievement, Bethany was suffering from alcoholism, severe anorexia and frequent panic attacks.
Bethany receiving support from fellow competitors
She was admitted to a psychiatric hospital which was soon to become her second home and after an overdose her mother in the Isle of Man took her in to care for her.
“She looked after me wonderfully, despite every attempt by me to harm myself at every opportunity, but in September I was sectioned and put in seclusion.”
“That was to be the lowest point in my life. I was in a living Hell. I did not know how to get better. I thought I would die.”
A wet and windy Parish Walk 2008
This was to be Bethany’s lowest point ever. With the help of counselling, support from her mum and drugs to help her control the mood swings, Bethany began to get better.
She now has her life back and her love for athletics has been instrumental in her recovery.
“I enjoy running first thing in the morning. I watch sunrises, look at rabbits and pheasants, I am awake before most people stir or get into their cars. It is my escape, my freedom. It is ‘my time’ to make decisions, think about problems, or look forward to the future. “
Once just wasn't enough
“Regular exercise clears my head and thoughts, relieves stress and pressure, and makes me happy. “
“It makes my life positive, focused and challenging. It has replaced alcohol and medication. I am stronger physically and mentally.”
If you want to sponsor Bethany you can contact her on E mail: email@example.com
last updated: 24/06/2008 at 16:50