Ipswich: Sports mad Kat Parnell celebrated half marathon victory by scoring a goal for ITFC ladies without even stopping for a shower

FOOTBALLER Kat Parnell admits she was mad for playing for Ipswich Town Ladies just hours after winning the Ipswich Half Marathon on Sunday.

The 21-year-old ran the 13.1-mile course in just over 90 minutes, crossing the line in first place before scoring in Ipswich’s 2-1 home defeat to Chesham United in the South East Women’s Combination League at Rushmere Sports Club.

And the left-winger, who finished 34th in the mixed-gender Ipswich Triathlon the week before, revealed her team-mates were impressed – if a little shocked – by her commitment.

“They were really surprised when I told them I had won the half-marathon just a few hours before,” she said.

“They were saying ‘Why are you here? What are you doing!?’ They said they would all be in a hot bath relaxing.

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“They all thought I was mad for turning up, and I probably was a bit mad for doing it.

“I was still on an adrenaline rush but if I had sat down and thought about it I probably wouldn’t have gone back out.

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“I only had time to eat a quick bowl of cereal. I didn’t even time to have a shower!

“But I am so passionate about sport and I didn’t want to let them down.”

The Ipswich-born former runner played for 60 minutes and scored the equalising goal against their unbeaten opponents before she conceded defeat in her fitness battle.

“During the warm-up my hamstring felt very tight and at half-time I said to my dad I wanted to come off,” she said.

“But my manager asked me to come out and play and I managed to score an equaliser.

“But I came off after an hour because my brain was telling me to do one thing and my legs were five minutes behind.”

The Essex University sports and exercise science graduate, who was also a London Olympic torchbearer in July, ran the London Marathon in just over three-and-a-half hours in April.

But she admits she had not even trained for the Ipswich Half Marathon.

“I didn’t really plan to do it. I just turned up and gave it a go, so winning it was a bit crazy,” she added.

“I didn’t expect to win at all. I hadn’t trained for it, but when I got to the start-line my competitive instincts kicked in and then when we got racing I realised that I could actually win it.

“My mum and dad were running around and cheering me on and I couldn’t believe it when I won. It was a real shock.”

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