A KENDAL salon owner is taking part in a gruelling long distance challenge to raise money to fund breakfasts for school children.

Claire Bescoby, who owns 16 The Salon, is taking part in the Lakes 50 at the end of July, for Gregg's Breakfast Clubs in Cumbria.

The keen runner has been training for the 50 mile task since January, and has already raised over £1,200. Her original target was £350.

Claire said: "I have done quite a few runs for big charities like cancer research, and I wanted to do something for a charity that was a little bit more local.

"It is so important that children go to school having been properly fed, so I decided to do it for them.

"I am passionate about the cause. I have a son myself. He is grown up now, but this is something I feel quite strongly about.

"I have done marathons before, and the Lakes 50 is something I've always wanted to do. It's a bit of a challenge.

"I decided to take part in it with my friend, who is also doing it."

Although she is a well-practised runner, Claire has been training in earnest, and has even given up wine for the cause.

She said: "The training has been going really well. We have two weeks to go now.

"I run a lot, but for this training we have been doing some really long distance runs.

"I get up at half five in the morning before work to train, and we do a long run each week on our day off.

"I am really excited to do it, I can't wait. We have done the whole course in different sections now, so I am quite confident.

"Fifty miles is a very long way, but I feel good to go. I am really looking forward to having a glass of wine again afterwards. Being a hairdresser, I do like my wine!"

The Lakes 50 takes place on rough terrain, and the runners must ascend approximately 3100 metres.

The gruelling route takes in Howtown, Long Sleddale, Kentmere,Ambleside, Langdale and Tilberthwaite before the final climb and descent to Coniston.

Runners must run through the night, carrying their kit the whole way.

The Greggs Breakfast Club Programme was established in 1999 to help primary school children get a nutritious start to their school day.

Every school is provided with fresh bread from their nearest Greggs shop, and a grant to support start-up and ongoing costs. The average club costs just £2,000 to set up and run for a year.

Donations can be made on Claire's JustGiving page, at: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/claire-bescoby1