GETTING up early for a run on Christmas Eve is a prospect many people would dread.

Add hay bale hurdles, mud and other obstacles, it would be easy to see why people would choose a lie-in and a late festive breakfast instead.

But given the Turkey Run is held to raise money for research into mitochondrial disease – a debilitating illness Sophie Hughes, eleven, suffers from – dozens of people turn out in support.

The event, which also encourages people to get up early to burn off calories before the family feasting begins, is organised by Mark Hughes and last year raised £100 for the Lily Found Mark said: “On December 24, I will again be running my turkey run charity obstacle course to raise funds for The Lily Foundation.

“Last year’s event was a great success so this year it returns.”

Mr Hughes is no stranger to fundraising for the charity, having completed a 24-hour cycle challenge last year ahead of the inaugural turkey run.

He added: “It is a ‘donate what you like’ 45-minute course that runs around the edge of Misterton Recreation Ground near Crewkerne.

“Starting at the new later time of 9.30am this year, participants tackle hay bale hurdles, run through tyres, crawl through mud and dodge slalom poles for this year ‘evade the Turkey’.

“All money raised goes to The Lily Foundation which raises funds to research a cure for mitochondrial disease, the condition my daughter Sophie sadly suffers from.

“The person who completes the most laps by collecting coins will receive a mystery prize.”

Every finisher will receive a complimentary mince pie.

Sophie’s mitochondria is progressive and can cause debilitating, physical, developmental and cognitive disabilities with symptoms including poor growth, loss of muscle coordination, pain and seizures.

Sophie is the oldest surviving child with the condition which is likely to shorten her life, which Mark wants her to live to the full Mark said: “The Lily Foundation is researching a cure. It affects more people than you would think.”

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