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Loch Ness Marathon

“One of the proudest days of my life”

Lifeguard at Grimsby Leisure Centre, Francesca Reed, reflects on running her first marathon earlier this month.

On October 1, Francesca joined over 3,500 runners taking part in the Loch Ness Marathon, notorious for being one of the most scenic stretches of 26.2 miles on the planet.

The achievement is extra special for her given the obstacles she’s overcome along the way.

In 2019, Francesca was run over by a car whilst crossing the road on an early morning run, leaving her with significant spinal injuries. Over the following months, she was in a back brace and had to rebuild her strength to be able to walk again.

After recovering, she turned to weightlifting and swimming as alternatives. However, in January earlier this year, her passion brought her back to the sport she loves.

I never thought I’d be able to run a marathon, especially after what happened. At the start of the year, I couldn’t run 5k, I was really unfit. It was really challenging, but crossing the finish line was literally one of the best feelings ever! I’ve never felt as proud – it was all worth it!”


Francesca’s chip time of 4 hours 36 minutes is even more impressive given the hilly terrain of the course.

Nearly three weeks on from the achievement, Francesca is back in the gym training for Manchester Marathon next April. Known for it’s flat and friendly route, there’s every chance a PB could be on the cards!

We wish Francesca all the best in her training!

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