WARRINGTON runner Louise Blizzard is about to embark on her 25th London Marathon this Sunday (April 28) – believed to be only the second woman in history to hit that milestone.
Louise, who is a regular at the Warrington Parkrun, is running in aid of The River Reeves Foundation, which was set up after the death of the local band Viola Beach – of which River Reeves was a member.
Louise, a member of Warrington Athletics Club, has run every London Marathon since 1994 apart from when 2010 when her son was born – one day after the marathon took place.
It will be Alfie’s 9th birthday this year and he will be in London cheering on mum!
Her now husband, Gareth, is also a runner and in 2008 proposed on Tower Bridge after the marathon. They had a ‘London-themed’ wedding in 2009.
Louise used to watch her dad run the marathon and eventually ran with him during her first race although they got split up and she finished ahead of him.
The next year she qualified for the elite ladies race and ran 2.58 for the marathon and finished 31st overall.
In 2003 she stood just behind one of her sporting heroes Paula Radcliffe on the elite starting line when Paula broke the world record of 2.15.25.
She says: “It’s certainly a tough balance during the winter months of being a mum, working full time and fitting in marathon training. I have been getting up really early on Sunday mornings to get the long runs in which is hard but really hoping it is all worth it.
“I can’t believe this year is my 25th London and so proud of this benchmark. I remember getting to 10 and feeling proud, never thought I would get this far.”
Louise chose to run for the River Reeves Foundation after meeting River’s step mum Sharon who asked her to be a pacer at parkrun event.
Inspired by Sharon she decided to support the foundation.
Louise says said taking part in a marathon had helped her deal with a lack of self confidence and given her a real focus.
She says: “I’ve made lots of lovely friends along the way too and really is such a special and incredible event.
“Each year I can’t quite believe I am there. I think I have cried at the end of each one, and always felt so proud and happy too. This year my husband and son will be there cheering on which will be so special.”
A small number of runners, known as the “Ever Presents”, have completed each of the London Marathons since the first in 1981. After 2014 their number has shrunk to 14.
At the running of the 2014 event the oldest runner was Kenneth Jones, 80 years old, whilst the youngest runner was 55-year-old Chris Finill. They are all male.
Donations for Louise’s 25th London Marathon can be made here https://mydonate.bt.com/events/louiseblizzard/490174#.XJdaiKSzsQ8.facebook