How many of us have seen runners toiling in a marathon and fancied giving it a go? And how many of us have then done anything about it? Well CJAM’s Lisa Dalton did, recently taking part in and, more importantly, completing her first one in the Halstead and Essex Marathon!
“I’ve been running for about eight years, and a member of my local running club for 18 months,” says Lisa. “I’d never planned to do a marathon but when I joined my club and met some amazing people I thought, ‘if they can do it, so can I’!”
Lisa started her serious marathon training in February, but as a regular competitor in 5k, five-mile and half marathon distance events it wasn’t a huge step up.
“There were 14 of us entered from my running club and we all finished – from third place to fourth from last,” smiles Lisa. “And every one of us felt amazing! For my first time I’d wanted to finish in under five hours but I was just as happy with my 5:33. It’s not quick but it’s something to aim for next time; and, yes, there will be a next time!”
That next time is coming sooner than expected, as Lisa is gearing up to take part in the Stour Valley Marathon, a trail-based run with no marked route and no marshals, meaning Lisa and the friends who are joining her must rely on nothing more than a map and basic directions to find their way home. “It’s a whole different animal,” comments Lisa, “but will be fun in an I’m-not-really-sure kind of way!”
What about after that? Does Lisa harbour any ambitions to enter one of the big marathons like London or New York? “At the moment I don’t, but then again I said I’d never do a marathon, then I said I’d never do another one and here we are! I’d love to do one or two of the Nike women’s half marathons, possibly in San Francisco, because it’s such an iconic venue. And maybe New York… perhaps!”
Would Lisa offer words of advice to anyone considering embarking on a marathon? “One thing marathon runners never tell you until you’re doing it, or have done it – it really, really hurts. I’m not quick but I have ambitions to improve, if only to spend less time actually running. My knees and hips were struggling by the end, but after a couple of days’ R&R I was back at the club and running a pretty quick five miles.
“A major plus for me is that I’ve dropped a dress size this year and eaten more than my husband and kids put together. I never say no to seconds and nothing is ‘not allowed’ because I’m usually hungry! I’m fitter than I’ve been since I was at school, I feel great, I’ve caught the sun and I have a huge sense of achievement. Why wouldn’t anyone do it?”
All of us at CJAM would like to congratulate Lisa on her fantastic feat and wish her every success in her future running adventures!