London Marathon runner spotlight: Emily

Ollie Drackford
Head of Marcoms

Back in 2013 Emily watched from the sidelines as her mum ran the London Marathon for YouthNet. An avid runner herself, she was desperate to join the team but was too young to enter. Now Emily is 18 and one of the youngest runners YouthNet’s ever had!

Emily tells us about her inspiration behind joining the team and how she’s managing to balance marathon training with exams and…well… life in general.

“You’re how old?!”

Having completed 21 half-marathons and the New York Marathon, people often seem surprised to discover I’m only 18! I got into running when I was a teenager. My mum signed up for the Robin Hood half-marathon and I began tagging along on her training runs. I was really into my basketball at the time so wasn’t really looking to do much else on top of school work but, after a couple of races, I really caught the running bug! I’m currently doing my A-Levels and I use running, as crazy as it sounds, as a way to relax and get away from the stress of school. I don’t know what I’d do without it. Plus I have an excuse to wear funky trousers which is always a bonus!!

A lot of my friend’s only experience of running was the dreaded cross country run from school, so a lot of them think I’m crazy to do such a boring, antisocial sport – but they couldn’t be more wrong. Yes, sometimes training is tedious, but it’s so worth it when you get that medal round your neck. Races are actually really fun to do – the support from people cheering you on is amazing.

My marathon training – the highlights

When I was little I remember watching the London Marathon on TV and wondering how on earth all these people in funny costumes managed to run so far. I never at all expected that I’d sign up for it myself. London has always been one of the races that I’m desperate to do. I know the city well and I now have a Personal Best to beat after running New York.

It may not sound like it, but completing a super-hill 20 mile run with no headphones allowed was definitely a highlight of my marathon training. My Mum’s encouragement and support meant I got a time under three hours and 30 minutes which is a massive confidence boost for London. It was especially great seeing a lot of the Capital One marathon team (many of which are also running for team YouthNet) and their cheering and support over the last 400m made finishing a real high.

Another highlight was completing the Disney challenges in America as I got to dress up and run round the Disney parks which was lots of fun! Plus I met Sean Astin (Sam from Lord of the Rings) which was really cool and left us fangirling just a little bit.

This isn’t the first time I’ve done something slightly crazy to raise money for charity I’ve completed four moonwalks where you walk 26 miles around London in the middle of the night in a bra!

Two years ago…

I’m really excited to have the chance to run for YouthNet. Learning about the incredible work they do for people my age really inspires me during those long, painful training runs over the winter!

My journey with them began back in 2013 – when I first went to the London Marathon Expo event with Mum to pick up her running vest and race number). That day we both posed at the YouthNet stand for a picture – with mum holding up a sign for why she was running and me next to her with my own stating ‘2015 here I come’.

Jump forward two years – and here I come London Marathon!

If you would like to support Emily and the rest of the Capital One Marathon team, you can do so by donating here.




Published on 03-Apr-2015