A veteran runner is raring to go for her 19th London Marathon.
Inspirational 70-year-old Pat Ainsworth has been clocking up the miles in preparation for the world famous event on April 24, which she started competing in when she was 49.
It is the latest endurance test for Emley-based Pat, who is now one step closer to achieving her dream of competing in 20 London marathons next year.
“I’ve just done my last big run of 20 miles and am feeling confident about it”, said Pat, who used to work at New Hall Prison in Flockton and has raised over £120,000 through her marathon efforts.
“Fortunately, the weather’s not been too bad this year for training– some years the snow has been so bad I’ve not been able to go out until it’s gone.
“Running around Emley is quite challenging because it’s so hilly, but it should make it easier for me on the day.
“I’m hoping to run it in around six hours this time.”
Pat said that her husband Jim is vital to her training.
“I don’t think I could do it without him”, she said.
“I can’t carry enough water when I’m on my long runs so Jim usually comes to meet me around 17 miles.
“He gives me a good morale boost too, it’s always nice to see a familiar face.
“He did the first London Marathon with me but he didn’t get the bug.
“I initially promised myself to do one but afterwards realised I really liked it so kept on going.
“I’m sure I’m going to get there next year, I just hope my body holds up.”
This year Pat is trying to raise £2,000 for Marie Curie.
“I’m in the local Marie Curie fundraising group so decided it was time to run a marathon for them.
“I’ve raised money in the past for charities like Cancer Research, Kirkwood Hospice, Dewsbury Hospital and Victa (for blind and partially sighted children).”
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Pat has taken part in countless other running events, many for charity.
“I’ve also done five charity treks, as well as running the New York Marathon, the Great North Run and countless 10k races.
“It’s definitely been a long haul.
“But I’d say to anyone who would like to do something like me but doesn’t think they can that anything is possible.
“I honestly think that if I can do it at my age, then anyone can.
“It’s not easy but I think about all the good people who’ve sponsored me and that gets me to the end every time.”
To donate to Pat’s cause, go to www.justgiving.com/Pat-Ainsworth1