2006 – Race for Life & Stowmarket Striders Running Club
I started running in 2006, pretending to train for the local Race For Life 5K. Having been a good track athlete at school, I was appalled that 25 years on, I couldn’t run the whole way round a 3 mile race and had to stop and walk – a lot, and finished bright red in the face exhausted. Having led a mainly sedentary adult life, with 2 young children and an episode of breast cancer diagnosed in 2001 I decided to join Stowmarket Striders Running Club. The following two years I returned to the Race For Life 5K and came 4th both times. I haven’t looked back. I’m sure my family all thought it was a fad and I’d soon get over it.
2009 – London Marathon Club Place
For the next few years I lived and breathed running. In 2009 I was honoured to be given a club place to run the last Flora London Marathon. My childhood ambition concluded with a finish time of 4:08:42.
2011 – Breast Cancer – again & no Amsterdam marathon
Running and the club kept me sane when I was diagnosed again in 2011 with breast cancer. Nine months of treatment consisting of chemotherapy and radiotherapy, hair loss and steroids made running difficult and racing a definite no, however I enjoyed the challenge of putting on the trainers and plodding out for a few miles. Sadly I had to say good bye to my place in the Amsterdam Marathon.
2012 – London Marathon – 6 refusals and your in
2012 – the year of the Olympic Games in London – and I was thrilled to have a place in the London marathon again. Those were the days where you were given a place if you had 6 refusals. 4:02:14, painfully close to the much wanted sub-4 and felt deflated coming over the finish line vowing not to return to London marathon, having felt over whelmed by the noise and crowded course.
2013 – UKA CiRF qualification & Brighton Marathon
2013 – I qualified as a UK Athletic’s Coach in Running Fitness in 2013, and coach weekly for Stowmarket Striders.
Brighton was my 2013 marathon – what a lovely race that is and my sub-4 was achieved with a 3:58:03.
2014 – Brighton Marathon
I returned to Brighton in 2014 and chipped another couple of minutes off and ran a 3:56:02 marathon.
2015 – Manchester Marathon GFA!!!
Determined to achieve a Good For Age marathon time – just something to tell the grand children one day, I ran
Manchester Marathon in 2015. Having followed the Hanson training plan rigidly I ran the easiest race I’ve ever run and achieved a 3:30:54, with a negative split. I was over the moon. However some time later it was announced that for the 3 years that this marathon had been held, the course was short by 380 metres!!!!! My marathon PB was taken away from and I had to add 2 minutes to my time to submit to London to qualify for my Good For Age place. That was fine, the qualifying time was 3:50 so I was still well within. But I was gutted to have that 3:30 removed from my records. But I know I ran a marathon that day – you always run more than 26.2 miles in a marathon when you take the bends wide.
2016 – A broken fibula and no London Marathon for me
In 2016 despite saying I didn’t want to do London again, I decided I would like to claim my Good For Age place and experience that start. Training started a week or so before Christmas 2015, however in March 2016, just 6 weeks away, I turned my foot on the curb and very undramatically broke my Fibula. Another marathon in the bin and 6 weeks of no running but Aqua Jogging and Turbo rides to try and maintain my fitness. Obviously gutted, but especially as this was the #OneInAMillion year and I wanted to be part of that.