• Helen Phillips

Meet our VLM19 Marathoners #24: Susan


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 Susan, who ran VLM19 for Macmillan. Please read on to hear her story.

Tell me about your running journey

About 12 years ago I joined our local Running Sisters club and did couch to 5k with them. Since then I’ve ran lots of 10k and 4 half marathons. I first met Helen (The Cheesecake Runner) on a New Years Day run she organised around Windsor Great Park a few years ago.

Why did you decide you wanted to run a marathon?

My running friend Barbara and I entered the VLM ballot to celebrate our 70th birthdays last year. Running VLM seemed like the perfect challenge for our milestone birthdays.

How much have you raised for your charity?

We ran for Whizz Kidzand were asked to raise £2000.

We didn’t do any special fundraising, just asked friends and relatives for sponsorship.

Did you have a goal for the marathon?

My lead up to the marathon wasn’t great. I broke my little and ring fingers on my left hand on a training run on 1stApril, so I had to run with my hand heavily strapped.

Also mum died the day before. But I decided to run as she would have wanted me to.

My goal was to Just finish. It was a very, very emotional run. Mum died the day before. At at one stage I was all set to sit down and cry, but my running friend Barbara picked me up and we finished holding hands. A true friend.

How did training go?

Well on the whole but it was tough!

What do you love and hate about running?

I loved the freedom and euphoria when we had done something new, or just ran a longer distance and proved that at 70 we could still do it !!

I’m not a fan of hills. I’m retired so time isn’t an issue for me but Barbara is still working part time so we adapted the programme around her working hours.

Do you have a post run treat?

Scrambled eggs with Marmite toast.

Is there a song that motivates you through training?

I don’t run with music. I think it is dangerous, even on a training run, not to hear what is going on around you. But I love the Chariots of Fire Theme tune (I ran a race on the Chariots of Fire ‘beach’ in Scotland last year) and “Don’t Stop Me Now” by Queen.

Who would you like to present your race medal?

My Mum and my Hubby.

What were you most looking forward to on race day?

The atmosphere, the crowds seeing my supporters and the finish line.

Tell me about race day?

Running VLM was hard, especially as Barbara and I were in different starts. We arranged to met at the 5k marker when the Blue and Red starts joined but it was not possible. So we both waited for a few minutes then carried on untill a friend who was tracking both of us realized we had not met and stopped me, saying Barbara is 5 minutes behind you .

Never have I been so pleased to see her! After that we stuck to each other like glue!!!

I hated the sticky road surface after the Luzocade stations. But the crowds and supporters along the route were amazing.

Susan 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!