AN AMBITIOUS eight-year-old Oakley girl is going the distance to raise funds to refurbish her local park.

Annie Dennison-Lane will be pushing herself to the limit as she attempts a half Ironman competition to raise funds for a community-led refurbishment of Kennet Way Park.

Following in the footsteps of her full Ironman-completing mother and grandfather, she will be taking on the challenge, which will be a total of 1.2mile swim, 56 mile bike ride, and 13 mile swim in total.

To make it more achievable, Annie will be completing the challenge cumulatively over the month of May.

Annie’s mother Becky Lane said: “There is a lot of encouragement to get fit and active, but there is also a big local push to get more children fundraising for the park.”

The challenge was inspired after Annie saw her mum in training for the full Ironman course, as she attends the training sessions which Becky goes to.

The challenge has not phased Annie, who is looking forward to taking the challenge.

Becky added: “While it seemed like too much of a challenge at first, once we had sat down and broken the challenge down, she told me that it was achievable.

“She wasn’t put off by the amount that she has to do, and with half term coming up, she is ready.

“It’s all tied in nicely, with the fundraising push and her desire to join in. I completed a half Ironman last year, and now she is doing one as well.”

As well as her own training and physical wellbeing, Annie is looking to inspire others as well with her efforts.

Becky said: “Rather than just going with the PE that she gets at school, she is looking to show that it doesn’t matter how old you are, you can do something.”

Becky, 33, and Annie’s grandfather, 61, are also taking part in similar events this year.

So far, there has been a positive response to Annie’s fundraising efforts, which has encouraged her even further.

Becky added: “The response has been amazing, and it’s really nice to see her talking about it to others when people ask what she is up to

“She can be quite quiet, and I don’t think she realises what she is able to do.

“Sometimes, she likes to sit and read the comments that people leave, which have been lovely.”

The fundraising effort will be taking place over the weekends in the month of May, with goals being set each week for the Oakley Junior School pupil to beat.

For more information about the park project and to donate, go to