January 23, 2015
Back in 2013 whilst struggling to get back into my running after having a 9 month baby growing break, I figured that although I couldn’t run for more than a few minutes at a time myself, I still had the know how and knowledge needed to support other plus sized ladies to reach their marathon running goals…and with that revelation the Fattymustrun Marathon Challenge was born.
Despite the project being a bit of a mouthful to pronounce, I managed to recruit 16 ladies from all over the world to take part and I was able to test my training and mindset techniques on them (poor things), with 2 ladies going on to run full marathons, and many of the others completing half marathons or simply still enjoying their new role as “proper runner”, so although it wasn’t the most well thought through training programme, and had an operational budget of exactly £0 I was still rather impressed that my methods worked.
So when in November of last year I was offered the chance via Athletics Weekly to coach 4 ladies (properly this time) to marathon success AND get 5 Virgin London Marathon places for this Spring, I jumped at the chance and so did almost 100 of my ladies when I put the opportunity out on my Facebook page, such was the excitement to be involved in this last minute challenge.
Now obviously I was not going to take on ladies who had no running experience, as 4 months was no way enough time to get them prepared, so in the end I had about 20 viable applications for the 4 spaces and I spent a long weekend weighing up the strengths of each of the candidates, but finally I chose my 4 ladies and over the last few weeks we have been busy doing the ground work for our spring marathon attempt.
So I present to you my Fabulous Four Ladies, as seen above (From Left to Right)
Sara – Is from Derby and tells me she has struggled with her weight most of her life, she applied to take part because she was desperate to get a marathon place for this spring, having been forced to walk it last year due to illness. She runs with a group called Fat2Fitbitches and will be lining up with many of her running friends, and her daughter too.
Tracey – Describes herself as a run walker, and tells me she is not confident enough to join a running club. The furthest she had run before applying for this was 6 miles, so she knows she has a lot of work to do. She lives in Surrey where she is a Weight Watchers group leader and she hopes to inspire the ladies she works with to show them that you can achieve anything you set your mind to.
Joanne – I met Jo earlier this year when she attended one of my Fat Girl Run Clinics, I was impressed by her pure grit and determination and her sense of humour, and later in the year she joined in with a photoshoot for our Too Fat to Run technical vests where we continued to have a right old giggle. Now Joanne has in fact run a marathon before, but family life and work has prevented her recently from being able to do such long distances so this is the perfect opportunity to put herself first for a change.
Eva – Lives not too far away from me, and we often run in the Olympic Park on the same day but always manage to miss each other, although we did bump into each other in last years Hackney Half Marathon, as Eva overtook me. Eva later attended one of my clinics too, and we recently bumped into each other at Hackney Marshes parkrun where she whooped my backside once again. Eva has a great attitude to the hard work required, and has the potential to run a great (speedy) first marathon
On the 7th February the 4 ladies will be joining me and a bunch of other awesome ladies on a 10 mile training session in Hyde Park, there are still a few places available (click here to book) if you would like to come and meet them in person, we will be deploying a range of techniques to ensure nobody gets left behind at this training day, and I have a few treats up my sleeve too!!
We officially have 93 days exactly until we nervously line up with all the other marathon runners in Greenwich Park, and we sure as hell have a lot of work to do between now and then to prepare, but what I can say is from what I have seen of these ladies so far I have every faith that they will do a great job in London, they have a strong desire to achieve this goal, they are facing their fears and trying new things…and most importantly they are putting in some hard graft. So please send them your messages of support
In fact on the actual day of the marathon, Sunday 26th April we will also be requiring your support in a more practical of ways, as it just so happens that the London Marathon coincides this year with our FREE virtual run #OneBigFatRun, so I have decided that in honour of my Fab Four and to help them with their fundraising efforts we will be hosting a one off virtual event where you can take part in our marathon excitement and win a bespoke medal of your own.
The cost of the virtual race will be approximately £10 and at least £7 of that will go towards the Ron Pickering Memorial Foundation and our collective bid to raise £5000 for them. Places for the virtual run will go on sale in March and will be limited to the first 250 participants, and we will be revealing the design of this Limited Edition Medal very soon!!
As always your #OneBigFatRun can be done at any point over the last weekend of the month, and can involve walking, jogging and running…and of course can be done alone or with friends, so please show your support and more importantly lets show the running world that we mean business!!!