Ipswich JAFFA’s Helen Davies tastes ‘amazing’ Brighton Marathon success after juggling motherhood with training

Ipswich JAFFA runner Helen Davies during the Brighton Marathon, her comeback race at the distance si

Ipswich JAFFA runner Helen Davies during the Brighton Marathon, her comeback race at the distance since having two children. Picture: JAMES RICHARDSON - Credit: Archant

After five years away, two children and months of gruelling training, Helen Davies is back with a bang.

Ipswich JAFFA runner Helen Davies during the Brighton Marathon, her comeback race at the distance si

Ipswich JAFFA runner Helen Davies during the Brighton Marathon, her comeback race at the distance since having two children. Picture: JAMES RICHARDSON - Credit: Archant

The Ipswich JAFFA runner took to the streets of Brighton on Sunday for her first marathon since 2012 and stormed home to win the women’s race in 2hours, 42minutes, 40seconds.

A European Championship bronze medallist and part of England’s 2010 Commonwealth Games athletes, Davies described the win – only her second marathon victory in her career – as “absolutely amazing”.

“It all came flooding back to me,” she said. “I had everything in place that I was used to having, it felt good.”

Training for an elite spot in any marathon is undoubtedly tough, but Davies admitted juggling this and raising her two sons Kingsley, four, and Hector, two, had added to the task.

Ipswich JAFFA runner Helen Davies during the Brighton Marathon, her comeback race at the distance si

Ipswich JAFFA runner Helen Davies during the Brighton Marathon, her comeback race at the distance since having two children. Picture: JAMES RICHARDSON - Credit: Archant


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She said: “It was very challenging and there have been weeks where I thought. ‘Has this really been a good idea?’ but I shook it off.

“I have had to be a lot more flexible. I have been going out for a lot of runs in the early morning and the evening when the children are in bed.”

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Davies said she had a lot of support from her husband Gavin, also a runner, and other family members when planning her training around looking after the boys.

There were also times when the 37-year-old said she experienced self-doubt, but was able to bounce back by managing her training.

Helen Davies wins the women's Brighton Marathon on Sunday. Picture: EDWARD THOMAS BISHOP/GROUNDED EV

Helen Davies wins the women's Brighton Marathon on Sunday. Picture: EDWARD THOMAS BISHOP/GROUNDED EVENTS COMPANY LTD - Credit: Edward Thomas Bishop/Grounded Events Company Ltd

Davies added even though her sons did not quite understand why she was running, she hoped what she was doing would inspire them in the future.

“They don’t quite get the while racing thing, they just know mummy’ runs and is mummy going out for a big run or a small run,” she explained.

“They have missed me this weekend but Gavin has been showing them videos of the race.”

Davies is already looking ahead to what to do next and is keen to get back out on the road for another marathon.

Helen Davies, centre, after winning the women's Brighton Marathon on Sunday. Picture: EDWARD THOMAS

Helen Davies, centre, after winning the women's Brighton Marathon on Sunday. Picture: EDWARD THOMAS BISHOP/GROUNDED EVENTS COMPANY LTD - Credit: Edward Thomas Bishop/Grounded Events Company Ltd

“I’ll have a little bit of a rest first,” she said. “The thing about a comeback is you need to get out there and throw a marker down and see where you’re at.

“To make my comeback and win has definitely given me the hunger back.

“I have just always loved the marathon. It’s where I have had me biggest achievements. I have always enjoyed the training. I’ve missed it.”

Helen Davies, seen here winning the Ipswich half marathon, claimed victory in Brighton. Picture: SAR

Helen Davies, seen here winning the Ipswich half marathon, claimed victory in Brighton. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Sarah Lucy brown

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