This week we’ve spoken to the incredibly inspiring Sarah Saunders from Exmouth as she fills us in on her London Marathon preparations! The 2020 London Marathon takes place on Sunday 26th April and covers a leg-aching, stomach-stitching, foot-blistering 26.2miles. As Sarah will be one of the 40,000 people running the marathon this year, she needed some stand-out, stay-put shorts to keep her looking fab and staying comfortable while she embarks on her fundraising mission.
So, if you’ve got the London Marathon on your bucket list, or want to get inspired by Sarah’s charitable mission or training programme, here’s the lowdown on how the preparations are going!
The London Marathon is no easy feat; we hear horror stories of blood, sweat and bucket loads of tears, so why are you embarking on this crazy adventure?
Sarah: The London Marathon has long been a personal goal of mine. For the last few years, I have entered the ballot to run and have had lots of unsuccessful attempts. After being fed up with the failed ballot, I decided I would apply for a charity place. In the past, this has seemed daunting as you have to raise a lot of sponsorship money in order to participate.
However, I’ve wanted to take part in the London Marathon for so long, and the charity I’m running for is very close to mine and my family’s heart, so this year I decided I just had to do it!
Sounds like quite the personal goal! Which charity are you running for?
Sarah: I’m running for Mind, which is a mental health charity. They work tirelessly to support as many people as possible who experience mental health problems. I am a former Royal Navy Medical Assistant, while my husband still serves in the Royal Marines. We actually met when we were deployed in Afghanistan, and we have both seen first-hand the challenges that people face when it comes to mental health illnesses.
We know that some people are not fortunate enough to have the support network available to help them get through challenging times or periods of mental health illness. This is why it is crucial to raise funds and awareness for Mind so they can continue to support the people that need it.
What a worthwhile cause, how much are you hoping to raise?
Sarah: I’m hoping to raise £2000 for Mind by running the London Marathon. Throughout my training and when doing other long runs, I try to post regularly on social media to continue raising awareness for Mind.
Come Marathon day; I will be wearing the Mind running vest with pride.
Sounds great! Is your marathon outfit sorted already?
Sarah: Yes, that’s actually how I found Ruby Fury. For long-distance running, having the right leggings are essential. I’ve long been looking for comfortable running leggings that actually stay put, regardless of how long I run for. Plus I wanted a pair that was fun and with an eye-catching design. There’s no point in boring leggings!
While searching online, I came across Ruby Fury, and as the studio was local to me, I got in touch to see if I could pop over and try some designs on. As they were made to order, I knew the size would be perfect and straight away bought the Prism Print Capri Leggings and matching headband.
I’ve recently worn both on my last big 14-mile run and was amazed at how comfy they were. They didn’t budge from my waist the whole time!
For the marathon, I’ve bought the Vortex Lycra shorts because these will go perfectly with the blue shade of the Mind running vest.
Hopefully, the weather will warm up soon so I can try the shorts out before the big day!
I imagine training is hard going; what’s keeping you motivated?
Sarah: Last year, my friend and I completed the Manchester Marathon, which I completed in 4 hours and 23 minutes. I loved every minute of it. So, this year, my motivation is to improve my time and hopefully get a sub-4 hour finish time!
I’ve really been putting in the miles on training runs to help me reach that goal. Although it isn’t always easy as I run my own business and have two children, a husband and a house to look after! I have to admit; the housework is being neglected!
Of course, the fact that I’m running for a worthwhile charity always picks me up when I’m struggling in training.
So, the big day is nearing, what will you be listening to while running the marathon?
Sarah: I love running to my 80s music workout playlist. Whenever The Jam’s Town Called Malice comes on, I feel like I gain a second wind! Hopefully, it will help when it comes to the big day too!
The crowd will be cheering you on too, who’s rooting for you on the sidelines?
Sarah: The day before the marathon, I’ll be travelling up from Exmouth with my husband and my two children, Jessica and Ben. Then on Sunday, my mum, dad, brother and sister-in-law will all be there to cheer me on as well!
I’m sure they’ll give you all the encouragement you need. When you get to the finish line, how will you celebrate?
Sarah: A Nandos! While we have to drive straight back to Exmouth as the children are back at school on Monday, I’m sure we’ll have time to celebrate with a well-deserved cheeky Nando’s before we return!
And what’s your recovery plan?
Sarah: On Monday, I’m going to sit in my joggers all day and not venture too far from the sofa!
I don’t blame you! Finally, what are the three words that sum up how you’re feeling right now?
Sarah: Motivated. Excited. Hopeful!
We’ll definitely be cheering Sarah on during the race! Hopefully, she’ll let us know how she got on too!
If you want to support Sarah’s Marathon challenge and raise money for Mind at the same time, click here for Sarah’s fundraising page.