Mon, 02 Jul 2018
A THATCHAM woman is preparing herself for her biggest running challenge yet – a gruelling 50k race in the Chilterns next month.
Ann Howard has spent the past 10 weeks following a dedicated training plan, which has seen her get up every Sunday at 6am to run along the Kennet and Avon Canal.
She started by running 12 miles, increasing the distance each week by two miles.
The 47-year-old ran a marathon in training last weekend, but is now spending the next few weeks tapering – lowering her running mileage – for the epic event on Saturday, July 14, called the Humanity Direct Chiltern Challenge.
The one-day ultra-marathon raises money for Humanity Direct, a charity which works with several hospitals in developing countries including Uganda, Tanzania and Somalia, where many families can’t afford basic medicine or life-changing operations.
Mrs Howard, a teaching assistant at Francis Baily Primary School in Thatcham, chose to enter the event in aid of Cancer Research UK.
The mother-of-two took up running six years ago as a way of keeping fit and set herself the goal of running a half-marathon.
But she has since completed the 13.1 route three times, the last of which was in 2015, and has been running 10k races ever since.
Mrs Howard, who doesn’t describe herself as a natural runner, had never run more than 13.1 miles when she started training for the 50k.
Speaking ahead of the race, Mrs Howard said: “I know it’s going to be hard, so I am planning on a run-walk strategy to get me to the end.
“I will be nervous on the day, but raising money for this great cause will help motivate me.”
To sponsor her, visit https://www.justgiving.com/ fundraising/annmhoward