Three Marathons in Two Weeks: G4 Physiotherapy Client Jo Explains…

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One of G4’s star clients, Jo Richards, undertook a fantastic challenge for the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) charity in April. She decided that in order to top her previous achievement of two marathons in one week, she would do three in two. Her legs have recovered sufficiently now for her to chat to us and tell us how it went.

G4: Jo, what on earth gave you the idea to run three full marathons in two weeks?

J: In 2013, I ‘accidentally’ ended up with places in the Manchester and London marathons which were a week apart – I entered Manchester and the ballot for London, never thinking that I would get in to London. I decided ‘why not?’, and ran both, using the challenge as a way of asking for sponsorship and raising money for the WWF.

G4: Why the WWF?

J: I am a keen conservationist and have traveled and worked abroad doing conservation projects, so it is a charity close to my heart. The guys at work, in children’s television, made me my running vest.

G4: So why three in two weeks this year?

J: I thought that I should have a year off in 2014 from asking people for sponsorship money and this year needed to top my 2013 challenge, to encourage people to donate. I also said that the first person to sponsor me would get a carrot cake made by me, which brought out the competitive side in my friends.

G4: How did you pick the races?

J: I wanted to do Manchester marathon again as it was my home race, and then looked at the weekends around that. I found Brighton marathon the Sunday before on the 12th April, and the Shakespeare marathon in Stratford Upon Avon the Sunday after, on the 26th. There was also the Blackpool marathon that weekend, but I chose Stratford as I  would have already have done one seaside event two weeks earlier. There is only so much sand you can get in your trainers!

G4: How did the first event, the Brighton marathon, go?

J: It was a very hot day. I was very glad that I was wearing my WWF panda hat as I had forgotten to put suncream on so got rather sunburnt. I was nervous at the start but the event is the main one for the charity so there were a huge amount of runners and supporters there with me. It was a nice course with lots of crowds nearly all the way around. I was in considerable pain with my achilles tendon, plus I had developed plantar fasciitis  during training, which had made me change my gait and my muscles ached due to that.

G4: What did you do to recover?

J: The six hour journey back to Manchester stiffened up my legs, and I couldn’t have my cold then hot baths straight after the race.  I think that affected my recovery that week. I had to have four deep tissue sports massages, which helped enormously.

G4: How was the second event, the Manchester marathon?

J: Brighton felt like my warm-up and Manchester was my race. Even though my achilles started to hurt two miles in, I beat my personal best by ten minutes, and Brighton by 20. I was able to get home quickly and jump straight into my cold bath as soon as I finished which I think helped.

G4: How many sports massages did you have that week?

J: Just three! I was also emailing Glyn for advice on how to recover and prepare myself. I was very sick of pasta by that point.

G4: So, how did Stratford, the third event go?

J: This was the most mentally and physically challenging one. It was a lot of very steep hills which hurt on the way down as much on the way up. As it was two loops I also knew what was coming, which didn’t help! It was also a much smaller race so I missed the support from the crowds, which I really needed as I was so tired by then.

G4: How much money have you raised for the WWF?

J: About £900 so far. My Just Giving page is still open if people wish to donate. You can click here to do so.

G4: Did anyone make jokes about wrestling or ask why you were running for the Worldwide Wrestling Federation?

J: I think that was you.



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