Many people put on their running shoes in aid of a good cause, but St Albans business woman Laura Lilley is taking on a slightly bumpier challenge.

Keen horse rider Ms Lilley, 23, of Queen Street, St Albans, has signed up as a camel jockey for a bank holiday camel race in aid of the Herts Air Ambulance.

She said: "It’s a bit different to the standard running 10K - it’s something I’d never done and I thought I’d probably never get the opportunity again.

"I’m just a bit nuts really. It sounded like something that was quite a laugh."

Ms Lilley will take part in the camel race at Northaw Point to Point racecourse, near Potters Bar, on bank holiday Monday, May 27.

She said: "There are four jockeys in a race and they’re running multiple races during the day - they’ve made it into a big family fun day.

"It’s done by a professional camel racing company, so it’s not just camels from the local zoo."
Although she loves horse racing and owns her own horse, Ms Lilley is expecting the camel to be much bouncier ride.

She said: "Camels have a funny walk - they walk with one side of their body and then the other.

Some people are telling me to stay on and some are telling me to fall off."

There will be no advanced training or practice sessions, and each jockey must raise at least £500 to enter, with proceeds going towards the racecourse’s chosen charity, the Herts Air Ambulance.

Ms Lilley has raised £100 in her first two weeks of fundraising, but hopes to beat her £500 target.

She said: "The Air Ambulance has strong links with the racecourse. For me, as a horse rider, the air ambulance is always at the forefront of your mind because a lot of accidents do happen.

"I’ve never had to see [the Air Ambulance], and I hope I never have to, but I feel safer in the knowledge that they’re there. I didn’t realise they were wholly funded by donations."
Since signing up in January, friends and family of Ms Lilley have reacted with confusion, but she’s now recruited some friends to join in.

Ms Lilley, who works full-time for an energy company, helped start Carousel Handbag Boutique last summer along with her boyfriend Aaron Gransby, 44, and his mother Vera Dalzell.

Carousel customers can donate in-store, or to sponsor Ms Lilley online visit