Best foot forward

It’s January 2021 and like millions of us, Evelyn Truter is trying to get through lockdown in the best way possible: on her feet – and moving forward

It’s January 2021 and like millions of us, Evelyn Truter is trying to get through lockdown in the best way possible: on her feet –and moving forward.

“I didn’t realise how much I’d enjoy being up at dawn, hearing nature wake up and clearing my head before work,” Evelyn says, recalling the daily walks she took to stay active.

But within a few weeks, that daily walk had become a daily run. Three kilometres at first, then five.

“As I built up my distance I started to wonder – what could I really achieve with this?” she adds. Eight months later, and the answer was clear. Evelyn had completed a 52km run, raising £12,000 in the process for multiple sclerosis research at the University.

The idea for such a fundraising challenge came to Evelyn after she turned 52, the age at which her mum had sadly passed away with MS.

“I realised I could do a fundraiser, and Mum naturally came into my head,” Evelyn says. “So, I looked at MS causes, and saw that the University conducts research into the condition. My Mum came from a nursing background and lived for many years in the South West, so it seemed like the perfect fit.

Evelyn Truter running on Clevedon Pier
Evelyn Truter's mum's plaque on Clevedon Pier
Evelyn's mum's plaque on Clevedon Pier

“There were people who I’d known for years whose lives had been touched by MS, and I only found out by talking about the challenge and sponsorship. It’s a much more widespread condition than I realised and there’s currently no cure, so it’s important to raise awareness and help as much as possible.”

Research at the University focuses on improving the outcomes for people living with MS – from clinical research into new treatments to initiatives that might boost and benefit support services.

Professor of Clinical Neurology at the University, Jeremy Hobart, said of the challenge: “It was very humbling. We were totally overwhelmed by Evelyn’s support and amazing feat of fitness, endurance and resilience. Fundraisers like her enable us to progress our work. We are sure her mum would have been very proud.”

Looking back at her achievement last summer, Evelyn ‘doesn’t quite know how she did it.’ “Running 52km aged 52 sounds mad. But I was amazed by the generosity of family, friends and my colleagues. My strong connection, love and respect for my Mum ensured that I never thought of giving-up, just as she never did.”

And is Evelyn still running?

“Yes – but not the long distances I reached while training. I have missed the meditation that comes with those long runs. In fact – now you mention it –perhaps it’s time for a new challenge!”

If you’ve been inspired by Evelyn’s efforts and want to take on your own challenge to raise funds for medical research, get in touch with the team at or visit our fundraising page.