Olympian Jo launches women’s marathon plan

Devon athletics star Jo Pavey will spearhead a programme to help runners get fit for the nation’s only marathon exclusively for women later this year – an event raising money for FORCE.

The five-time Olympian and European Championship gold medallist will pass on coaching tips at the first in a series of seminars ahead of the Women Can race in East Devon on Sunday May 26 2019.

Mum-of-two Jo, her husband and coach Gavin and race co-organiser Peg Wiseman will deliver a two-hour session on preparing for the big day.

They will be talking to runners at 9:30am on Sunday January 13 in Sidmouth – places are limited and must be booked in advance (see below).

Co-organiser Pauline Beare said: “It’s a privilege to have Jo’s support for Women Can and I hope runners will benefit from hearing how Jo plans for her goals.”

New format

This year marks the third Women Can event and it has a new format with three challenges, three start lines and one finish in Sidmouth.

There will be full, half and quarter marathon options available, all predominantly off-road and taking in the stunning East Devon countryside and coastline.

The 26.2-mile route will start and finish at Sidmouth Rugby Club, runners tackling the 13.1-mile option will set out from Tipton St John and quarter marathon entries will go off from Budleigh Salterton.

They will all start at 9am with the aim of creating a steady stream of finishers throughout the day at Sidmouth RFC’s Blackmore ground.

The event is expected to attract more than 500 runners from around the UK and overseas.

Training runs

Five monthly seminars are planned between now and May with additional training runs one to two weeks after each of them to help runners implement what they have learned and prepare them for their chosen challenge.

The series will feature sessions on running gait and shoes, balance, co-ordination, how to tackle the hills on a course that takes in parts of the South West Coast Path, the Coleridge Link and the East Devon Way, eating and drinking on the run and what final preparations to make.

“We have a team of experienced runners and coaches with the relevant experience to guide women towards their goals and help them enjoy a day that creates its own special atmosphere,” said Peg.

The whole programme costs £60 to include an I’m training for Women Can T-shirt. Individual seminars are £15 with no T-shirt. For more information or to enter the full, half and quarter marathon, go to www.womencan.co.uk

How to book: cheques made out to Women Can should be sent to Pauline Beare, 49 The Orchard, Otter Valley Park, Honiton, EX14 4PT along with a contact name, telephone number and email address for full details of each event including times and venues; email psbeare@hotmail.com for information on how to pay by bank transfer.

Backing for FORCE

The organisers of Women Can have chosen FORCE as their primary charity for 2019. FORCE provides support for anyone affected by cancer with a Support and Information Centre in Exeter and weekly outreach sessions in Tiverton, Okehampton and Honiton.

Women Can is also supporting the South West Coast Path Association, which protects, improves and conserves the 630-mile stretch of the National Trail.

IP Office Ltd, which provides award winning IT and communications solutions to businesses of all sizes, are headline sponsors of the event for a third year running.