From 'couch potato' to running group leader and marathoner!

A self-confessed ‘couch potato’ has transformed herself into a running group leader in Wiltshire and last month went one step further and completed the Virgin London Marathon, the Wiltshire Gazette & Herald reported recently.
Forty-seven year-old Belinda Stephenson – who could not run from one lamppost to another two years ago – pledged to run the London Marathon before she turned 50.
She went on to complete the marathon successfully in a time of 4:53:23 along with fellow Chippenham Harriers member and Chippenham firefighter Rob Warwick who ran it – his second marathon – in 4:46:37.
The pair have also fundraised together, raising more than £4,500 between them for the Micro and Anophthalmic Children’s Society (MACS), because Rob’s friend Teresa Morgan, who grew up in Corsham, has a son called Harri with small eye syndrome. Everyone involved in MACS has a family member who has a child or children with severe eye conditions. Local company Drainwizards 24/7 Ltd pledged to match everything raised!
Mrs Stephenson told the Gazette: “I was a complete couch potato, I’d never done anything sporty. My friend talked me into doing the Chippenham Harriers’ beginners’ course and then she quit, but I’d got addicted. It was really hard, every little incline was like a mountain to me back then.”
What’s more, now that she’s completed her running course, she’s going to be a group leader for the next one – inspiring people to get running at Chippenham Sports Club where she was inspired herself. Well done Belinda!
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