Self-improvement mad Helen is running her second Virgin Money London Marathon on Sunday to support her inspiring friend, and trustee of Aspire, Luke Hamill.

“I’ve known Luke for over 20 years and he’s always been an inspiration for the amount of energy and go getting focus he has. He has a spinal cord injury but nothing has got in the way for Luke and he leads a more exciting and active life than most non-disabled people I know. I love the way that Aspire helps people get back their independence, something that Luke has always aspired to.”

Passionate about food and nutrition, Helen has compiled her knowledge into a bespoke booklet of '10 training and nutritional tips for people running marathons' and is selling them for £2 each. She says: “I pulled them together because lots of people sign up to do marathons but get into a mess with nutrition (they eat too much) and then start putting on weight! I’ve also just started coaching a few London Marathon runners in better nutrition and will ask them to give a donation to my JustGiving page in return for my advice.”  Along with Christmas bake sales Helen has raised almost £1,000 for Aspire so far and hopes to double the amount by race day.

Through her experiences coaching and doing her own marathons, Helen is convinced that anyone can complete a half or full marathon and to anyone thinking about doing it she says “go for it!”. “Anyone can do it but if you want a great run then you have to put in training effort. Training has to hurt and push you, that’s the only way your body makes adaptions and improves.  That way you’ll have a better race.”

This year Helen is pushing herself to complete the marathon in under four hours - it will be her personal best. However, she said “I’m not nervous, rather excited”. “From training I know I’m in good shape, but I need to get my mindset right to believe I can do it.”

To follow Helen’s training and to sponsor her go to: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/cheesecakerunner2016/