St Albans runner tackling two marathons in two weeks for charity

PUBLISHED: 17:15 24 March 2019

Left to right: Jo Hancock and Amy Heap. Picture: Westminster Lodge Leisure Centre

Left to right: Jo Hancock and Amy Heap. Picture: Westminster Lodge Leisure Centre

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A St Albans woman is donning her running shoes to tackle two marathons in two weeks and raise money for charity.

St Albans Amy Heap is tackling two marathons in April. Picture: Westminster Lodge Leisure CentreSt Albans Amy Heap is tackling two marathons in April. Picture: Westminster Lodge Leisure Centre

Amy Heap will take on Brighton Marathon on April 14 and then the London Marathon on April 28, both for Mind, a mental health charity.

The 29-year-old is a member of a local running club called St Albans Striders, but says that nonetheless, it will be a tough challenge.

She hopes by putting herself through her paces, she can raise at least £2,000.

Amy said: “Running two marathons two weeks’ apart is a much tougher ask and I’m going to have to dig deep to achieve this,”

She has run the Brighton Marathon twice before, in 2016 and 2018.

Amy added: “People think training for a marathon is all about running further and further each week.

“That’s true of course, but you need to also strengthen your leg muscles and core, look after your joints by doing some non-impact fitness like swimming, stretch and recover fully, plus address your lifestyle routine, if you want to give yourself the best chance of success.”

Mind is also this year’s charity of choice for St Albans-based Premier Foods, where Amy works as senior brand manager.

She said: “Running 26.2 miles is as much in your mind as in your legs. It takes a lot of mental strength to keep running for four hours or more and I am working hard on getting my mental stamina up to endure the distance – a marathon is as much mental as it is physical, making Mind such a relevant charity for this challenge.”

To train, Amy is clocking up hours at Westminster Lodge Leisure Centre with PT Jo Hancock, attending pilates classes, swimming, and pedaling her way through indoor cycling sessions.

Jo said: “Amy is a force of positivity. Yes, she is a runner, but it takes quite a heart to be able to line up two marathons back to back. Her dedication to training has been inspiring.

“As with anything physical, you do need the mental agility to fire with the strength and stamina and I’m helping Amy focus on that.”

Sponsor Amy at www.justgiving.com/fundraising/amy-heap28

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