We meet some of the women who ran the London Landmarks Half on 1st August 2021
If there’s one thing we’ve missed about real-life races, it’s getting to hype up other runners. We caught up with three women who have been using running to help them overcome some of life’s toughest obstacles.
They’ve been working hard during lockdown to train for the London Landmarks Half Marathon, which finally took place last weekend, on the 1st August – a culmination of all the hard work, energy and time that these women have put in. We talked to them before their race to hear about their journey, find out how their training is going and how running has helped them.
Inspired by their stories? London Landmarks are already taking pre-registration for the ballot for next year’s event. You can sign up here.
Angharad has experienced three miscarriages (two in 2020) and lost 2 stone due to running for her mental health. She is running three half marathons in 2020 (Llaneli, Bath and London Landmarks).
“After our third miscarriage, we were hoping to finally get some answers on our losses, as the NHS unfortunately do not test until three consecutive losses. My partner saw an advert to run the LLHM for Tommy’s and it really inspired me. It would give us something to focus on other than trying to conceive and hopefully help with research so this doesn’t happen to anyone else.
“Unfortunately due to the pandemic we didn’t get to run last year. Which was just as well, because I lacked all motivation to train consistently. I then had another miscarriage in the May, I had gained so much weight and lost all confidence in myself and my body.
“I used to walk my dogs with my mum and they became a bit of a therapy session. Mum was about to start training for a marathon and managed to persuade me to start training with her. I started running in a hoodie and leggings during a heat wave because I didn’t want anyone to see what I looked like. It was very slow, and I walked a lot, but for some reason I kept showing up.
“Then I started to get better and better and felt amazing whenever I got a new achievement badge on Strava. My confidence started building and I was losing weight. Finally my body doesn’t feel like a failure anymore. Over a year on and I can’t imagine life without it. I always refer to running as my therapy.
“Although I haven’t used the services of Tommy’s I hate to think of anyone else going though just one miscarriage let alone five like us. If the money we raise can support any research that might prevent it from happening it is worth it to me.
“I ran half marathons before (many years ago) but never for a charity and in such an iconic location. I’m really excited to be running and sight-seeing at the same time.”
You can follow Angharad’s journey on Instagram –@miscarriage_to_marathon
Issy is a respiratory physiotherapist. During the pandemic, she wanted to be safe for herself and patients, so avoided public transport and started running to work.
“I have always been keen on running but in the first wave of the pandemic we were all warned about public transport and finding alternative routes to get to work. So I bought myself a running rucksack and decided that I was going to run to work every day. At that point we had just changed our shift patterns to cope with the increased demand, going from a pretty standard 8-hour shift with the occasional weekend to a 4-day on 3-day off 10-hour shift pattern.
“Running soon became my little daily meditation. No matter what had happened the day before at work, I knew that the little 20 min run would clear my head and get me ready for another day in ICU treating patients. Running always allows me to think clearly and I find a strange kind of peace in pounding the pavement with my fave podcasts in my ears.
“I have entered the LLHM every year for the last 3 years but never got a place. When I saw this year they were planning a COVID themed year I was desperate to get a spot and did a little celebration dance when I got my ballot place in February!
“I’m so excited to run in a race with others after a year of social distancing and I’m also really looking forward to all the themed sections – especially the rave tunnel. I love the fact that there is a memorial mile too, although not sure I will be able to run through it without shedding a few tears.”
Jas is a mum from Glasgow, with three children. She is running to raise money for Tommy’s.
”I am running for Tommy’s as they have played a huge part in all 3 of my pregnancies. When I was a first time mum, I had questions and always knew that Tommy’s were not only fully confidential, but also so supportive and non-judgmental in their approach and response. The volunteers and staff are very passionate about supporting mothers and mothers to be and there was always support at hand whether I emailed or called into their phoneline. Since the birth of my eldest son nearly 6 years ago, I knew I wanted to give back by raising awareness and funds through a half marathon.
“10 years ago, I had ran over 10 half marathons. This is my first half marathon after having kids and although it has been more difficult finding time and energy to train, I am more than passionate to make that finish line! I don’t get as much sleep or rest as I did before kids, nor do I manage to meal prep to ensure I am getting the right nutrition. However, I am trying to not let mum life hold me back. Tommy’s has helped me through some very tricky times during pregnancy, and I’m taking motivation for my 13-mile run from being able to raise awareness and help other mothers to be get the same support that I received.
“Although I don’t manage it as often enough, running is my way of letting go of stress and anxieties. It helps bring the attention to me and helps me to be more present and focused on my children throughout the day. I wont be running for my personal best this time, but instead to allow myself to feel that runners feel when I cross the finish line and see my kids cheering me on.”