• Helen Phillips

Meet our VLM19 Marathoners #5: Karen


Not everyone can run a marathon. You have to be a special kind of determined and crazy to train and then complete 26.2 miles on the day.

In my VLM19 Meet Our Marathoners Series we meet ordinary people who have battled through and achieved extraordinary.

Today we meet Karen, who ran VLM19 for The Outward Bound Trust. Please read on to hear her story.

Tell me about your running journey

I ran for 6 months, getting up to about 5 miles, before I got pregnant with my first son in 2016.

I applied for a charity place to run London on the day on VLM 2018. That was when I began running again. My first run was 2.2 miles in 30 minutes and took it from there.

I started out running 5 months post-natal. In total I've lost around 3 stone in a year. I needed to lose a stone before kids, but a lot was pregnancy weight. I also had loose joints from pregnancy and suspected psoriatic arthritis which has completely cleared up since running.

Why did you decide you wanted to run a marathon?

I wanted to do something huge! Also, I want my kids to know it's important, if you want something you go and get it and you go and get it NOW!

How much have you raised for your charity?

I ran for the Outward Bound Trust. I chose my charity because they help underprivileged kids get to the outdoors for adventure sports.

My fundraising target was £1850. I took it very seriously and raised this by Christmas. I didn’t want it to interfere with training. I’ve now raised over £2,300!

How did your training go?

A few weeks in I was finding I just couldn’t shake off niggles/injuries from weaknesses. But my NHS physio completely turned me around. I am a better runner because of him and with a much stronger mind for running.

What do you love about running?

There’s not much I don’t like about running. Its my escape from the kids!

I love getting my music on and running fast when I'm in a bad mood, I love long runs, love all the lovely new people I've met and now run with. I run to be a healthier person and to get out in the fresh air more and I just love it!

Do you have a favourite post run treat?

Coffee!!!! Usually because I daren't have one before in case I need to loo.

If you could choose who would present your finishers bling who would it be?

My Physio.

Do you have any running “superstitions”?

Just go to the loo 4 times before I set off!!!

Tell me about race day?

My nerves were absolutely unbearable, but as soon as we crossed the start I was absolutely fine.

I CANNOT BELIVE everything went PERFECTLY!!!! I’ve never had a perfect race. There was no “wall”, no bad pain, no long walk breaks. I saw my family at both cheer points, I ran with someone I from our group, I fuelled really well on the run (the day before and morning I could hardly eat due to nerves so I thought I'd have a bad race). And I did the whole thing with a massive smile!

I missed my time target by 8 minutes but who cares when you have that much fun! There's always an autumn race!

Karen You're Awesome! You smashed VLM19!

If you're already thinking about your marathon next year, you'll be pleased to hear Marathon Club Hub is now open.

Marathon Club Hub is my training & preparation programme for first and next time marathoners to provide you all the advice, information and support you need to get ready to run.

Click HERE to join Marathon Club Hub to get going with your training for next spring.