What made you get into running?
I was overweight as a child and bullied horrendously at school because of it. So when I got a bit older, I decided to take up running to lose weight. Once the weight dropped off, I was surprised that I was actually quite good at it and really enjoyed it.
What has been your proudest moment?
Really difficult question. Every race that I complete is a proud moment, especially marathons. But pacing a race has got to be my proudest moment so far. The feeling of helping someone else across that finish line is such an amazing sense of achievement. And the gratitude from other runners is just the best feeling ever. When I was overweight, I never imagined that not only would I be a runner, but I’d be helping others to run too. Really quite proud of myself.
What has been the biggest challenge you have faced?
Running a marathon. I have a medical condition called scoliosis, which means my spine is curved, even worse, it’s the lower part of my spine. And us runners know how important our spines are! Doctors thought I’d have to give up running altogether, but in true runner defiance, not only have I managed to keep running, I’ve managed to run marathons. But it’s not been easy. The back ache is a night mare during long distance running, which makes marathon running a massive challenge. But I’ll keep at it until I achieve my sub 4 dream.
Who is your inspiration, and why?
Another difficult one. There are so many inspiring people. But it has to be Jane Tomlinson. A Yorkshire lady like myself, and a fab runner, she was diagnosed with cancer at a young age, but kept on running right through the illness, and raised thousands of pounds for cancer charities. Even completing marathons and cycling miles throughout the illness. Whenever I complain that my back hurts, I think about her and all she achieved. I’m really proud to support the charity set up in her honour and hope I too can raise money to help cancer charities.
What are your future goals?
Keep aiming for the sub 4 marathon dream (as long as my back plays ball). I also have some more race pacing coming up so will be spending more time helping others to achieve their goals.
What would be your one piece of essential advice to someone looking to start up running?
Be true to yourself. It’s really easy to get carried away with other runners achievements and then look down on yourself. But we all have different abilities and just get getting out there and running is something to be proud of. And don’t let anyone else tell you otherwise!!
What is your favourite piece of running kit?
Definitely my running shoes- Nike Vomeros. They’re expensive but just fab. So comfy and they offer fantastic support for my back. I’ve had every edition for the last couple of years!
And finally, what’s your favourite thing about running?
The stress relief. I have a really stressful job and when I get out there, I just forget about work and de-stress. Oh and of course the fact that it keeps you fit!