Big Marathon Challenge Shortlist: Susan Powney

Meet Susan Powney one of our shortlisted runners for this years Big Marathon Challenge team!

Name: Susan Powney

Age: 59

Hometown: London

Big marathon challenge

“I am 59 years of age and want to celebrate my 60th birthday next year in style by running a marathon!

“My personal life has been particularly challenging – my husband died very unexpectedly in February 2000 – my daughter was eight and my son was six years old. I continued with my university studies while working as a learning support assistant at a local primary school, aiming to qualify to be a teacher. I achieved a First Class Honours Degree, a PGCE with ‘outstanding’ and a Masters Degree with Distinction. Truth is, I hid in my studies; when the children went to bed, the living room was so very quiet and there was a very empty chair. I missed my husband so much that it hurt, so I channelled my energies into my studies and succeeded. I achieved my ambition and became a teacher. My children are now grown up (23 and 25), they have both been to university and are amazing young people – I am so very proud of them.

“I am now ready for my next challenge – running a marathon. I am not confident as a person but I am a positive thinker – I know that I want to run ‘my pace, my race’. I know I can run a marathon – I am determined to do it and will feel a real sense of achievement crossing that finishing line!

“I want to prove to myself that I am ‘good enough’. I want to make my children proud. I am currently an infant school teacher in year one at Petersfield Infant School and want to be a role model for the children, showing them that exercising is so important and, even at my age, anything is possible.

“As I have recently qualified to be a Run Leader, I want my Couch to 5K ladies, who also struggle with confidence, to see that I am an ordinary person and that they, too, can improve their running skills to complete a marathon. Nothing is impossible if you have the determination, dedication and the desire to do something.

“I also want to raise as much money as I can for the British Heart Foundation in memory of my husband.”

Running background

“After the death of my darling niece and goddaughter, Joanna, in 2015, I wanted to raise money for Aplastic Anaemia, and signed up for the Great South Run thinking it was 10K. Turns out it was 10 miles! Luckily for me, I had an amazing learning support assistant called Helen, who encouraged me all the way. I was also fortunate that one of the amazing mums of a child in my class was on hand to help me out. I ended up with Achilles Tendonitis but that did not stop me from signing up the day after for the same run the following year!

“Initially, I had been unable to run from one lamppost to another – I ran out of breath trying to attempt the ‘Couch to 5K’ app. However, I was now hooked on running and joined the Runny Honeys Running Club in Petersfield to improve my running skills. I now have two medals for running in 5K events, 13 medals for running in 10K events, two medals for running 10 miles (GSR) and three medals for half marathons. I also took part in the London Moonlight Walk for Breast Cancer and walked 26.2 miles – now I am ready to run this distance!

Follow Sue online:

Twitter: @SPowneyRunning
Facebook: suepowney running
Instagram: suepowneyrunning

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Melody Smith

Written by Melody Smith | 35 articles | View profile

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