Billericay’s Super Sonya – 150km in 31 days

The COVID pandemic and lockdown period for many of us has been a time of reflection but for Billericay resident Sonya Chilton it’s been the perfect time to set a challenge and raise money for two very important charities close to her heart.

Throughout July, Billericay’s Super Sonya set herself the physically demanding challenge of running 150km in 31 days, all in a bid to raise money for Prostate Cancer UK and Parents 1st.

CommunityAd caught up with Sonya to find out more about this brilliant fundraiser…


Can you explain to readers why you’re fundraising for Prostate Cancer UK and Parents 1st and why these charities hold a special place in your heart?

Prostate Cancer UK is very important. My father was diagnosed with the onset of the disease in late 2017. Unfortunately, for my father his cancer had spread. He had been given chemo and radiotherapy however when coronavirus hit us, sadly his treatments had to be suspended at this time. So therefore, I am doing this for my dad. I would like to make him proud of me and that I can actually run further than to the shops and back!

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer and the biggest killer of male cancer patients in the UK

The reason I am running for Parents 1st UK is that they helped me immensely when my marriage fell apart in January 2018. I was then three months pregnant with my third child with two other children to care for as well as the news of my father, it got too much for me.

I was going through severe depression which I never thought in a million years I would ever go through. It is an absolutely awful place to be if you are alone, especially when you are a parent where others are dependent on you as a mother and as a daughter (for my mum dealing with my dad).

A good friend reached out and contacted the charity on my behalf. I was sent an invaluable soul named Annette who became a good friend, a good listener and massive support for me. She attended consultations with me and she was with me the day my son was born and thereafter until I felt good in myself mentally. I cannot thank her and the charity enough for their support at such a difficult time in my life.


What was the decision behind upping your run from 120km to 150km?

I never ran. Prior to my third child, gym and exercise were like a foreign language to me. However, whilst pregnant, the gym was like an escape for me mentally and physically. I began to love and enjoy it. I have been running for some time now and regard myself as pretty fit. So, I thought 120km was quite doable but 150km would really push me and also push others to donate that little extra to get me working up a sweat! Once my target of £500 was reached for donations, my challenge was then made harder by a 30km increase!


What made you choose to run for this fundraiser ahead of other sporting challenges?

With lockdown in place, everyone had challenges set either physically or mentally… I wanted to do a challenge that I enjoy and wouldn’t give up halfway or get injured! The hills in Billericay are a challenge in themselves if I’m honest, however to limit any big injuries I also ran on a treadmill for some of the challenge, but recorded all my runs on the Nike Run Club App tracker, which I would recommend from absolute beginners to the more advanced.


Before this challenge, how had you planned the 31 days in terms of what your daily amount of running would be and giving yourself days off to rest and recover?  

So, I based my challenge at 150km at the very beginning… regardless of hitting my target. I aimed to run at least 30km per week. Some days I would run at the most 12.5km but most days would be 6/7km. I would always have a gap in the week with no runs but I would always do something like weights or a little exercise so I do not stiffen up!


For those who are reading who would like to donate, what would be the best method?

I would massively appreciate any donation. Donations to the charities will be split 50/50.

You can donate here:


As all your training is local, can you tell us what you enjoy most about living in Billericay?

Billericay is a fab place to live in… that’s what my daughters would say, too! I never grew up in Billericay but I feel like I have lived here forever. The people are so friendly and there is a real community spirit. Especially during the coronavirus lockdown, I established a group where our community got together and donated supplies for Basildon Hospital, Basildon Ambulance, Billericay Foodbank, Women’s Refuge and other places that needed help. I couldn’t believe the response. I am so proud to live in a place where people care about each other. We have good restaurants, pubs and general shops on our high street (although it’s sad to see so many close).

My kids love going to the park, grabbing an ice cream or we sometimes walk to Norsey Woods and I would shut my eyes as they clamber up the trees! Billericay is a great place to live!

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