February 1, 2014
In May last year I got this crazy idea that if I could motivate myself as an overweight girl to run a marathon, perhaps I could motivate other overweight ladies to run their first marathon. So I put out a call on the internet I NEED FATTIES and low and behold they came. That was where the Fattymustrun Marathon Challenge was born. Over 60 overweight women from all over the world applied to be part of the programme, and I narrowed it down to 16 ladies, brave enough to come with me on a ten month journey to prepare them for a spring marathon. Inevitably we lost some along the way, and we gained some new recruits in July…but that is all by the by, what is of real significance is that tomorrow one of those original 16 ladies will be running her first ever marathon. Holley is a 23 year old graduate student getting her masters in Business Administration and Information Systems. She is originally from Florida but currently lives in Alabama and came on the programme with a BMI of almost 27, so not hugely overweight and a tall girl just like me. She had done some running before but never anything further than a 10K and she worried about being able to complete the distance. On her application when I asked her why running a marathon appealed to her she said
A marathon is such an impressive goal to set and achieve and I feel that if I can achieve that I can achieve anything.
Which was the deciding factor when I chose her, especially considering she was my youngest applicant. Out of all of the FMRMC girls Holley has been the one who has quietly just got her head down and got on with the challenges set for her, squats, plank a day, timed races…nothing seemed to phase her. Then one afternoon in December on our facebook forum she posted that she had just run 20 miles, it was then that I realised just what a little star we had on our hands. Just before xmas I asked the ladies to sum up their experiences so far and to offer some advice to other overweight ladies thinking about getting into running, this is what Holley said,
Do it, don’t be afraid. Most runners I have met (whether in person or online) are delighted to see someone new trying and working to pick up running. They have all been extremely nice and helpful with any question I have had (even if I thought it may have been extremely stupid) and are generally happy people. They don’t care if you can run 10 miles or 1/10 of a mile they are supporting you all the way.
So tomorrow at 7am US time Holley will be lining up with thousands of other runners at the start of the Rock n Roll New Orleans Marathon. I did a Rock n Roll Half Marathon in Lisbon in October and the atmosphere was fab, so I know she is going to love it. I am so humbled by her achievements and can’t wait to hear all about her day. Holley is the first of my ladies to run her race, others will follow next month and into the summer but for some reason this one is really important. You can wish Holley Good Luck via twitter @holleyjollyk I am sure she will be checking her feed if not before but definitely afterwards. Tell her how awesome she is for having the dream in the first place, and then seeing it through!! Holley you ROCK
- The Fattymustrun Marathon Challenge is up and Running (excuse the pun) (fattymustrun.wordpress.com)
- Ultimate Marathon Bucket List (thefatgirlsguidetorunning.com)
- Introducing Tina (fattymustrun.wordpress.com)
- Introducing Amber (fattymustrun.wordpress.com)
- Why Half Marathons make you FAT (thefatgirlsguidetorunning.com)