If you watched the London Marathon this weekend your attention was probably flitting between Mo Farah, Kiplagat, and some dude running dressed as a telephone box. However if you watched closely there was a pretty extraordinary story amongst the elite runners that proves there’s hope for us all.
The smiling face above is Emma Stepto. She finished the London Marathon in 14th place with a time of 2:36:02
And she’s 44!!!!!!!!!!!
Okay okay, it’s not her age that’s remarkable thing. Us distance runners tend to grow old
gracefully. (If you get bored on google, look for the 101 year old runner)
However, but the important fact about Stepto is that she only took up running in
She’s only been competing in ‘proper races’ since 2007 and only the last couple of those
have been with a qualified coach. And yet she’s currently the Bristol Half Marathon Champion, and British Women’s No2.
Yes readers, like most of us, she got bogged down by work, life and Jeremy Kyle and forgot that sport existed for the entirety of her twenties.
She played sport as a kid, but was not the golden child, was not put into a rigorous training programme at 18 months old to get her to peak fitness at 21….. after which she would be let loose on the world via a big fanfare, massive sponsorship deal and a two page spread in the Daily Mirror, involving a strategically placed Union Jack.
Nope, she’s normal, lives in a bog standard town in Cornwall and there’s a REALLY good chance she’s going to end up representing Great Britain in the Marathon at the Commonwealth Games.
She’s not a stranger to other distances and is currently the Bristol Half Marathon Champion.
I think it’s pretty freaking amazing that in our sport, that if you’ve got talent, dedication, and a pair of trainers then you’ve got a shot at getting to that top spot, no matter who you are. After all, that’s the point right? Let other sports inject their kids with growth hormones, we’ll just pick the people who work hard and want it the most.
SO GET OUT THERE AND TRAIN, NEWBIES!!!!!!!!
I might be too lazy to put in the hard work it takes to run a sub 3 hour marathon but some of you MUST be OCD enough to do it!
Ballot entry for next year’s London Marathon opens April 22nd by the way 😉