Sunny

Sunny

max temp: 13°C

min temp: 8°C

Search

Video: How marathon running helped Elmswell mum beat cancer for the second time

PUBLISHED: 09:09 08 February 2013 | UPDATED: 11:59 08 February 2013

Jo Stephenson from Stowmarket Striders giving tips on how to prepare and compete in a marathon.

Jo Stephenson from Stowmarket Striders giving tips on how to prepare and compete in a marathon.

Archant

A dedicated athlete who has twice battled breast cancer is preparing for her third marathon.

This year, Jo Stephenson has opted to run the relatively new Brighton Marathon on Sunday, April 14, a week before thousands of runners from around the globe take on the now internationally famous London Marathon on April 21.

And the 47-year-old, a qualified coach who works with the Stowmarket Striders, has agreed to share the ups and downs of her gruelling training, as well as offering tips for those starting out on their running career, as she steps up her preparations.

Jo, of Elmswell, will be running for Breakthrough Breast Cancer this year, having twice battled the disease herself.

“I was first diagnosed 10 years ago,” she said. “And then I was diagnosed again in January 2011. My treatment finished at the end of September 2011 and I started training for my second London Marathon in the December 2011. I ran the marathon in April 2012 and I raised more than £1,000 for cancer charities.”

As well as raising money for her chosen cause, Jo has another motive for taking on the marathon challenge again.

“It’s quite good to inspire people,” she said.

It was her passion to support breast cancer charities that brought her to running in the first place.

She explained: “I have been running since 2006, I did a Race for Life for the first time that year and I was disgusted at how badly I did so I decided to get fit.”

Working part-time as well and bringing up two young children, meant it was a struggle to fit exercise in. But when a friend of hers joined the Stowmarket Striders, it was the final push she needed.

“I thought, if she can do it, so can I.”

She now trains with the club twice a week, fits a long run in at the weekend and another couple of training runs in mid-week.

She believes it was her running that helped her through her second round of cancer treatment.

“I ran all the way through, my pace and distance dropped off an awful lot but running helped me through it. It kept me going mentally and probably being fit in the first place helped me recover faster than perhaps someone else. I don’t think the treatment affected me as badly as it could have done.”

Jo has adopted a slightly unorthodox training programme this year and she will be sharing the highs and lows, comparing it to a traditional plan and helping new runners taking the first steps on the road to long-distance running.

Are you running the marathon? Share your story by emailing natalie.hoodless@archant.co.uk

0 comments

A person has died after being hit by a train at Colchester tonight, despite the best efforts of paramedics to save them.

A father-of-two from Stowmarket has thanked the professionals who saved his life after his heart suddenly stopped.

The Parachute Regiment Big Band will drop by this year’s Ipswich School Festival of Music.

A “callous” con artist who stole the life savings of a woman with learning difficulties has been ordered to repay more than £92,000.

From tudor celebrations and country shows to classic vehicles and live music, there’s lots to enjoy in Suffolk over the May Day weekend.

From long spells of warm sunshine to late April showers, Suffolk and Essex residents can expect changeable weather over the May Day Bank Holiday weekend.

Two burglars were stopped in their tracks when they were caught by the homeowner who chased them out of the property.

Most read

Eating Out in the Broads

cover

Click here to view
the Eating Out
supplement

View

Visit the Broads

cover

Click here to view
the Visit the Broads
supplement

View

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter
MyDate24 MyPhotos24