Less than two years ago running didn’t feature in Laura Jones’s life. Now the 29 year old has completed an epic charity challenge to run seven marathons around the world within a year.
Jones started training from scratch in August 2016 with the help of a local beginners running group as well as working with staff at SturFit, a not-for-profit community gym in Sturminster Newton. She said: “When I signed up to run the Everest Marathon I wasn’t a runner. I turned bright red and my lungs exploded just running 1km.”
Jones loved using the Precor treadmills at SturFit to improve her cardio fitness, but as time went on it was the award-winning Precor Adaptive Motion Trainer (AMT) that became her best friend. She said: “As I increased the miles and started running marathons the AMT became a great way to keep my fitness up without the impact. I was especially grateful after returning from my third marathon with a knee injury, as the low impact meant I could still do a challenging workout without the worry of further injury.”
Highs and lows
Jones built up her distances at local events before completing the 2017 London Marathon. She then participated in the World’s Highest Marathon, 5,300m above sea level at Mount Everest Base Camp in temperatures of -10 degrees C.
A fortnight later, while running the Banff Marathon in Canada, Jones suffered a knee injury that forced her to retire from the race and undergo rehabilitation.
Anything is possible
After finishing the Rottnest Island Marathon in Western Australia in temperatures of 30 degrees C, Jones moved on to the Seattle Marathon and then the Yukon Arctic Marathon on the frozen Yukon River with average temperatures of -20 degrees C, finishing her challenge with the hot and humid Kilimanjaro Marathon in March.
She said: “I wanted to demonstrate that no matter what your current level of ability, anything is possible. I hope going from a complete beginner to running seven marathons in a year will encourage others to break down their barriers and overcome their fear of judgement. With enough determination, self-belief and commitment, you can achieve anything!”
Jones has raised more than £7,500 towards her causes; The Jonny Wilkinson Foundation and The Scout Association.