• Helen Phillips

Meet our VLM19 Marathoners #20: Paulina


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 Paulina, who ran VLM19 for Leukaemia Care. Please read on to hear her story.

Tell me about your running journey

To be honest I ran in a bit the past, but it was long time ago and I gave up because of all different reasons.

I decided on my birthday on 1st October to start the training, so that’s when I began my journey with running. Then on the 1st January I started the first time finisher plan, which, because of various injuries, didn't go to plan from the beginning of March.

Why did you decide you wanted to run a marathon?

I like a challenge and running London marathon seemed like the perfect one. I also wanted to prove that an ordinary person can achieve an extraordinary thing.

How much have you raised for your charity?

I ran for Leukaemia Care with fundraising target of £2,350. I’m close to reading £3,000 right now.

I’ve done raffles and auctions, asked for sponsorship from work, friends and family and also held a couple of virtual races.

Did you have a goal for the marathon?

I wanted to finish but sub 5h would be amazing. However I knew I probably wouldn't get it due to injuries that started in March.

How did training go?

Training didn’t go too bad. Although I got a few injuries, but overall I think I did pretty well for a non-runner!

What do you love about running?

I love running with music. Running allows me to go out for couple of hours and just have a time for myself.

I’m not keen on running late at night after a full day at work.

Do you have a post run treat?

Probably chocolate milk.

Is there a song that motivates you through training?

There are couple of songs that even if I'm tired will keep me going - Red Light Spells Danger of Billie Ocean and The Greatest Show theme song.

What were you most looking forward to on race day?

The whole experience and being able to finish and prove to everyone I could do it.

Tell me about race day?

I knew there would be a lot of people but I didn't realise I would struggle with even getting into the rhythm of running. I loved the atmosphere, people shouting my name, and the oranges!!

Running alongside Jesus was amazing.

Also the amount of good luck messages I received on the day from people, even the ones that never seemed to be interested in my journey. It filled my heart with joy.

How did you celebrate your achievement?

With a Chinese!

Paulina You're Awesome! You smashed VLM19!

If you're already thinking about your next marathon, maybe you've got a race this autumn or you're entered into one next spring you'll be pleased to hear I'm opening up Marathon Club Hub.

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 get going NOW!