I took up running during the third lockdown after moving house and no longer needing to train in a 3m paddling pool to swim the Channel for Aspire.  I do still swim but more socially now as my closest swim spot is a 40 minute drive away; in that time, I can run 5 or 6 miles. It’s just so simple and easy - trainers on, and off you go! 

Gemma running

I’ve haven’t run any marathons before but I have always walked ultras. I’m a bit of a medal collector and will do anything for a nice medal!  I have them all hanging up so the ultimate medal for me is the London Marathon to go alongside my swimming the Solent and Channel plaque from Aspire (if they ever bring medals out I’ll be signing up to do these swims again).  My training is going really well; I run 40 miles (give or take) each week.  At the end of July I did my longest training run of 18 miles which I was strangely excited about!  I started at 5.45am and it took me 2 hours 38 minutes which is hopefully going to mean a sub 4 hours on the day which I’d be over the moon with. 

Fundraising is tricky with the current climate but I haven’t pushed it too much yet.  I’m working on a fundraising event with my local Indian restaurant so fingers crossed we can get selling tickets for that. I’m also running a raffle in my own barber’s business which people are giving to, so all the pounds will soon add up. 

I originally got involved with Aspire for the swimming events I wanted to do but after seeing how they change lives for spinal injured people and their families, and how they support people like me who want to do these amazing events, I would recommend anyone and everyone getting involved. 

Sponsor Gemma

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