MUM Hennie Symington will be trying to keep up with her two sporty sons in the Bath Half Marathon on Sunday.

The three are taking part in aid of sight-saving charity ORBIS, and the 54-year-old teaching assistant is grateful she will be able to see Sebastian and Toby for at least some of the 13-mile course.

Mrs Symington, of Cuttle Lane, Biddestone, said: “I’m a bit nervous, I’ve never run before, but I’ve got two very sporty children so thought it was about time I had a go.

“It was quite painful starting out, but now after four miles you don’t feel it.

“I don’t think we’ll be running together; they’re a bit faster than me.”

Sebastian, 20, is studying economics at Exeter University and Toby, 23, has just got a job in advertising in London and has done a bit of barefoot running as well as triathlons.

Since being set on her way by Sebastian in September, his mum has been “huffing and puffing” her way around the lanes of Biddestone throughout Wiltshire’s wet winter.

The family hoped to raise £500 but have stormed past this original goal with £920 pledged so far. Friends, family and even Mrs Symington’s book club group have given their backing.

Mrs Symington said she wanted to help ORBIS, a charity dedicated to eradicating preventable blindness in developing countries, because: “The work they do can truly change someone’s life. When you’re running outside, what’s around you is different all the time, and I often think how lucky I am to be able to see it. The gift of sight is such an amazing thing for doctors to be able to give, especially when the operations are so simple.”

According to the World Health Organisation, 39 million people globally are blind, with 80 per cent suffering preventable and treatable conditions.

Hannah Rzysko, senior fundraising officer at ORBIS, said: “We are grateful to have supporters like Hennie who are so committed to helping us tackle avoidable blindness.”

To sponsor the Symingtons, visit www.justgiving.