Pymoor mum Gaynor Wallace doesn’t do things by halves – well apart from half marathons, that is. Nine months ago she used any excuse to get out of running. Despite never competing in a race – not even a 5km fun run – last weekend, she completed the Soham Half Marathon.
Gaynor finished the 13 mile jog in an impressive two hours and 40 seconds, striking an average pace of nine minutes 12 seconds per mile, and escaping with just a small blood blister on her toe.
Speaking afterwards, she said: “The Soham Half Marathon was my first ever race so I had no idea what to expect and It was totally amazing! Very well organised and a really lovely run route.
“The weather was good too. Dry and not too hot. I kept thinking, just get to the next mile, and before I knew it all 13 miles were up and I was running towards the finish line. Yay!”
Throughout the race, she was cheered on by husband Greg and children Freya, five, and Calum, three, as well as close friends Hayley and Mark Turner, of Little Downham, and their children Faith and Toby.
Already planning her second half marathon, Gaynor would have said “no way” if someone had told her back in September that she would be taking part in such a challenging race. That was when she embarked on her fitness challenge, joining Tim Megginson’s Body Shape Fitness Camp in Ely.
Gaynor said: “I put on a lot of weight after having two children close together. I used to exercise in the past, mainly swimming and exercise classes, so knew what it felt like to be fit and healthy and I needed that back in my life.
“The journey has been amazing. I still can’t quite believe how far I’ve came in just nine months. I’ve had to push myself a lot but when you achieve each goal it’s a phenomenal feeling. It kinda gets addictive.”
Mum to Freya, five, and Calum, who turns four in July (just 13 months apart), Gaynor said that within a fortnight of joining Body Shape Fitness Camp she felt much stronger and fitter – so decided to take up running and chose the popular free NHS app C25k (Couch to 5k).
“The great sense of achievement I felt after completing my week of runs kept me motivated. I also had a huge amount of motivational techniques from my fitness instructor Tim and a huge amount of support and encouragement from my family and friends.”
She was particularly supported by Little Downham Ironman and ultra marathon competitor Hayley “Turbo” Turner, who also attend’s Tim’s boot camps.
After completing C25K in November, Gaynor went onto do the Zenlab fitness training and Barnardo’s Intermediate Half marathon training guide on top of her three weekly boot camp sessions.
She said: “Tim Megginson at Body Shape Fitness Camp has taught me a lot about fitness and nutrition. Within the first three months of joining I lost 2.5 stone and I’ve gone on to lose another stone since and feel so much more fit and healthy.
“I’ve gained lots of like-minded friends, a sense of achievement, health, more energy and been able to encourage others to get out there and give it a go. Changes I’ve made to my lifestyle include making time for myself, balanced nutrition and setting myself challenges and going for it.”
Her advice to anyone contemplating getting in shape?
“Don’t put it off until tomorrow. Just go for it. Make the decision and do it. You won’t look back. Every mountain top is within reach if you just keep climbing!”
For more about Body Shape Fitness Camp see https://www.facebook.com/Body-Shape-Fitness-Camp-118774098153346/