A 24-year-old who found it hard to run a 5km race last year, has completed the London Marathon.
After a six-hour slog, Rebecca Mintrim, of Weald Drive, Furnace Green, crossed the finish line on Sunday (April 13), tired, elated, and reaching for a packet of salt and vinegar McCoys,
She signed up to the challenge in January, giving her just four months to train up to run a 42km route.
She said she surprised herself and those who knew her because she found the 5km Race For Life challenging last year.
She said: “If you said to me a year on I would run the marathon I would have said ‘no way’ because I’m not a runner at all.”
Rebecca said the ‘buzz’ and atmosphere of the race kept her moving for six hours straight.
“I started off really fast because I felt really euphoric. It was this big iconic event that Mo Farah was running in. I saw Miss England there and there was a real buzz.
“When I got to the half way point, I thought ‘oh god, I’ve got to do this again’
“It was such a hot day as well. I found it really difficult.”
She said she found the run to be like a ‘sightseeing tour’ of the city.
She added: “Londoners and people sightseeing gave out sweets like jelly babies so I had a few of those on the way round which was nice.”
She said as part of her training she vowed to give up all crisps, including her favourite – salt and vinegar McCoys.
She said a couple of friends brought a pack to the race and handed her them as soon as she had finished.
Rebecca took on the challenge for a charity for disabled children called Whizz Kidz, for whom she works.
She said the charity had a few ‘cheer points’ along the course and she thought of the families helped by Whizz Kidz. She added: “That helped me remember why I was running.”
With the help of two fellow colleagues who also took part in the marathon, Rebecca raised more than £5,000.
With the charity’s 25-year anniversary next year, Rebecca said a lot of special events would be held, including a marathon which she joked she might be ‘roped into’.
She added: “I was really proud of what I had done.
“It was a huge sense of achievement. I’ve loved it. I want to do more and better my fitness.”