Have you had one too many mince pies this Christmas? Is your New Year’s resolution to get fit, but you need some inspiration to get off the couch?

Trudy Kent’s blog about why she is running her third Marathon for United Response and how she lost 11 stone in the process, might be the inspiration you need!

A face full of hair, sweat dripping and tears rolling down my face from wind in my eyes is all too common for me on a wintry Sunday afternoon. Training for a marathon means running in all weathers and pushing yourself to the limit. When your legs become tired and your body is pleading with you to stop, something pushes you through and you can continue to finish an 11 mile run with a smile and sense of achievement.

Becoming a marathon runner brings many benefits, from losing weight and toning up to building muscle and eating more healthily. For me, running has given me a new life, having lost just under 11 stone and dropping 10 dress sizes, every time I run I feel great.

This year my very good friend Mehdi, who is an amazing athlete, has given me the perfect gift by becoming my running coach. Through his talented coaching, training and advice I saw a final 2 stone shift and my mile times improve. For example, this time last year I was struggling to do 5k and on average this took 36-38 minutes. I can now do 5k as a gentle light run and achieved a personal best with 28.22 minutes a couple of weeks back dressed as Santa Claus.

We have fun running together and time flies by. Even the hills are easier when you have your friend pushing you to run faster and cheering you on all the way to the top! We have found some amazing running routes in the most beautiful countryside where the views are stunning. We’ve also got spectacularly lost and ended up running further than planned, so a good sense of direction and knowledge of the area you are training in is essential. We both have fond memories of a Saturday run where we ended up completely lost, surrounded by fields in the pouring rain…we laugh now but at the time when we found out after running 11 miles we were about another 2-3 miles from the car it was a different story!

I chose to run the marathon again this year as I was inspired by Mehdi. By watching him run so effortlessly I knew that by following his advice and coaching that I could fulfil my dream to cross the finish line injury-free in 5 hours or less.

We also know that by teaming up and running the London marathon we will raise over £3000, which will enhance the lives of people supported by United Response. As a Divisional Learning and Development Manager for United Response, I have seen first hand the amazing work that the charity does. We both want to help others and by doing this event we will raise a significant amount of money that will be used to purchase items such as mobility, sports or sensory equipment.

When we run in the wet, cold, dark evenings what keeps us running is not only the desire to achieve a great time but the knowledge that some of the people who will benefit from our fundraising would love the opportunity to run or walk. Therefore, we will be running not only for ourselves but all the people supported by United Response.

Training for a marathon is hard work but one of the best things you can do and it’s all worth it when you cross that finish line in the Mall. The feeling is overwhelming and makes all the long, dark, cold runs worth it. It will be one of the proudest moments of your life….enjoy!

Trudy Kent & Mehdi Otmann

Want to follow in Trudy and Mehdi's footsteps? 

Find out how you could fundraise for United Response