A SCHOOL staff member laced up her running shoes to complete a dream of taking part in the London Marathon.

Joanne Rose, Wellington Primary Academies attendance and welfare officer, took on the 26.2-mile course on Sunday, April 23 – completing the race in four hours, 15 minutes and 51 seconds.

Jo decided five and a half years ago that she wanted to get fit and active, upon learning she could have fun doing this and get medals, she decided to take up running. Starting with smaller 5k runs, Jo built up her stamina, moving on to the 10k, 10 mile and next half marathons. With the top of her bucket list being the London Marathon.

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After completing the virtual London Marathon in 2020 with her friends, Jo decided it was time to face the event in London with the roaring crowds. Jo entered the ballot and finally, after her fourth entry, she was offered a place.

January came along and Jo began her training, running three times a week. Jo began to increase her miles by doing long runs until she reached 18 miles. After a week of rest and carbohydrates, Jo travelled to London feeling excited and nervous all at once.

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Jo said: “Running has become not only a way to keep myself active and fit but a hobby, I love collecting the medals and will continue to do more races. The London Marathon was a big goal on my bucket list and I am grateful for the opportunity to partake. It was a complete shock that I was able to get a place so quickly through the ballot as I know some people have had to wait 10 years or more. The race was an amazing atmosphere something that virtual races cannot give you and I am very happy that I got to be a part of the event.”

Headteacher Sarah Johnson-Motyl added: “We were incredibly excited when we learnt that Jo had gained a space in the London Marathon. We are all so proud of her as a school and have loved hearing her stories in assembly, as well as a show and tell of her medal and photos. A massive congratulations to Jo from all at the Wellington Primary Academies for partaking in such a gruelling but rewarding event.”