The children of Wallace High School will be cheering on Personal Assistant Colleen McDowell, when she runs the London Marathon, next Sunday April 26.
Mother-of-two Colleen will be running for two very different causes - Breast Cancer Care, in memory of her aunt who lost her battle last year and Lagan Search and Rescue, of which her husband Phil is a volunteer.
“Any idiot can run, it takes a special kind of idiot to run a marathon,” joked Colleen.”I have always enjoyed running, having completed my last marathon nearly 12 years ago.
“However, since having children I didn’t do any more than the annual Lisburn 10k.”
It was while watching the London Marathon on TV last year with her two month old daughter, Isla, and daughter, Ava (2) that she decided that it was something that she wanted to do.
“It was so inspiring to see the atmosphere of the event,” said Colleen.
“I heard it was basically a lottery to get a place on the marathon, so I thought ‘why not?’ and applied.
“Six months later, I got the notification that I was successful. I suddenly thought ‘Oh help!’ There was no way I could turn this ballot place down as it could be a ‘once in a lifetime’ opportunity, but could I really go through with it?
“My husband has been very supportive as I have been leaving the
“Sometimes juggling the childcare to get out for a run seemed more tiring than the marathon training itself. Ava is now coming three and Isla will be 14 months next week, so they can be a handful. I am very grateful to Phil and my mum for their support. I know the marathon took a lot of commitment for them as well as for me.
“My dad, now 70, cycles with me during my longer training runs. In the past he has run 61 marathons, including 12 ultra-marathons, and he has been such an excellent, motivating coach for me. He even cycled 20 miles with me last weekend.
“I have managed to run with other friends who have been training for either the London or Belfast Marathon, as well as running with Jog Lisburn who meet on Monday and Wednesday evenings in Wallace Park, which has been very helpful.”
If anyone would like to sponsor Coleen you are asked to log onto http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/ColleenMcDowell.