Great grandmother Vicky Sloan recently ran her second marathon – an even more impressive achievement considering she didn’t even start running until her 60s.
The 68-year-old, from Marton, did her first marathon in Edinburgh in 2012, with The Goal-den Girls over 50s running group, to mark the Olympic year.
Running really is a brilliant activity – anyone can do it, you can do it at your own pace, it gets you out in the fresh air and you can make new friends
And at the end of April, she took part in the London Marathon – finishing in seven hours, two minutes.
She was raising money for Cancer Research UK, a cause close to her heart.
It was after Vicky, who has 10 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren, lost her beloved husband Eddie to cancer in 2009, she took up running.
She had given up work and nursed Eddie – who she was married to for 48 years – and gradually put on weight, so she started pounding the pavements to shed the pounds and for social contact.
She said: “I have lost four stone and kept it off. I feel much better and fitter since I started running, but the main thing for me is the fact it’s a social activity.
“When I joined the Goal-den Girls, I had never run before. I had never imagined I would be running a marathon and certainly not two.
“When I did the Edinburgh Marathon with the Goal-den Girls in 2012, it was really hard work. It was a wonderful achievement, but I can remember how much it was hurting, just putting one foot in front of the other.
“The London Marathon was a different ball-game.
“It still wasn’t easy, but the atmosphere was amazing. The fabulous support just kept you going.
“My friend and I had decided to take part in London after watching it the year before.
“We got so caught up in all the excitement and the atmosphere, we thought it was such a brilliant day, it inspired us to sign up.
“There were lots of charity runners, many in costumes, it was a great feeling to complete it and know I was raising money for a good cause.
“After Eddie was diagnosed, I met so many brave patients in the years we attended clinics, who I just want to help.
“New drugs are needed and research costs money.
“My grandchildren think my running is fantastic and it’s inspired them to be more active.”
As well as running, Vicky also has regular training sessions with personal trainer and group exercise instructor, Leigh Hamilton, of Studio One in Layton – which she says has helped boost her flexibility, strength and self-confidence.
She added: “Running really is a brilliant activity – anyone can do it, you can do it at your own pace, it gets you out in the fresh air and you can make new friends.
“For me, running is a real social thing.
“It has boosted my confidence and given me a new lease of life.
“I only wish I had done it years ago!”
To support Vicky’s fundraising efforts, visit www.justgiving.com/GreatGrandmaVickySloane