Norfolk

Woman does 250th marathon in eight years

Melanie Sturman, 48.
Image caption Melanie Sturman focussed on running to cope with mental health issues

A woman who only started running eight years ago at the age of 40 is about to take on her 250th marathon.

Melanie Sturman, 48, from Thetford in Norfolk will run at an event in Surrey next weekend. And next month she will complete 10 marathons in 10 days.

She thinks taking up running in 2010 "saved her" from stress and anxiety.

She said: "At that point in my life I was going through some difficult personal circumstances and my love of running got me through."

'It saved me'

Ms Sturman ran the London Marathon in 2011 and went on to complete 100 marathons in 96 weeks while facing relationship issues.

"It saved me. It gave me time by myself to deal with stress and anxiety at a time I was also dealing with a stressful job as well," she added.

"I was a size 16 with health issues, including hypertension, and I honestly couldn't run a mile back in 2010 but I built up my distance gradually.

Image caption She started running at the age of 40 and, eight years later, is about to face her 250th marathon

Her training consists of 30 to 40 miles of running per week and said she had no intention of slowing down.

Next weekend will see her 250th marathon, in Kingston upon Thames in Surrey.

Then next month she will take on the Great Barrow Challenge of 10 marathons in as many days for the sixth time, and believes she is already the only woman to have completed it in five consecutive years.

"As I'm getting older, it's getting harder but I still bounce back easily and can run a marathon on Saturday then go back to work Monday morning no problem," she said.

"I am working towards 300 marathons, which is the minimum qualification for the world mega marathon list, and I am hoping to achieve this during my 50th birthday year."

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