Louise Blizzard is about to run her 25thLondon Marathon – only the second woman in history to hit that milestone.
Louise lives in Warrington and is running in aid of The River Reeves Foundation, which was set up after the tragic accident involving the local band Viola Beach – of which River Reeves was a member.
Louise hasrun every London Marathon since 1994 apart from 2010 when her son was born – one day after the marathon took place. It will be Alfie’s 9th birthday this year and he will be in London cheering on mum!
Her now husband, Gareth, is also a runner and in 2008 proposed on Tower Bridge after the marathon. They enjoyed a London-themed wedding in 2009.
Louise used to watch her dad run the marathon and eventually ran with him during her first race aged 18, although they got split up and she finished ahead of him.
The next year she qualified for the elite ladies’ race and ran 2.58 for the marathon, finishing 31st overall.
In 2003 she stood just behind one of her sporting heroes, Paula Radcliffe, on the elite starting line – the year Paula broke the world record of 2.15.25.
Louise says: “It’s certainly a tough balance during the winter months of being a mum, working full time and fitting in marathon training. I have been getting up really early on Sunday mornings to get the long runs in which is hard but really hoping it is all worth it.
“I can’t believe this year is my 25th London and so proud of this benchmark. I remember getting to 10 and feeling proud. I never thought I would get this far.”
Louise chose to run for the River Reeves Foundation after meeting River’s mum Sharon who asked her to be a pacer at a parkrun event. Inspired by Sharon she decided to support the foundation.
Louise says taking part in a marathon had helped her deal with a lack of self confidence and given her a real focus.
“I’ve made lots of lovely friends along the way too because it really is such a special and incredible event.
“Each year I can’t quite believe I am there. I think I have cried at the end of each one and always felt so proud and happy too. This year my husband and son will be there cheering me on and that will make it extra special.”You can read more about Louise and Riv’s Runners at Warrington Worldwide