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Skiving days are over
2:00pm Saturday 5th May 2012 in News
A Devizes resident Fiz Mangham skived cross- country running at school because she hated it so much – but has amazed herself by running a marathon.
Mrs Mangham, a teaching assistant at Devizes School, set herself the challenge of running a marathon before she turns 50 in July.
She joined Devizes Running Club and six months of training paid off when she completed the Rome Mara-thon in March.
Her efforts have also resulted in her raising £1,000 for Age UK Wiltshire, where she works as a volunteer befriender.
Mrs Mangham, who is married with three children, said: “I am pretty unathletic and lazy so I knew running a marathon would be a real challenge.
“The running club were so helpful and kind – particularly Teresa and Caroline.
“The training got me to a high level of fitness which I don’t think I could have done on my own.
“The first time I went to the running club I thought I was going to be physically sick because I was pushing myself so much.
“I started off doing three to four miles in training and built up gradually. That helped me massively, although they did hideous things like sprinting and relays. I used to skive off cross country running at school because it was the worst thing at school for me.
“At no point during the training did I ever think I would be able to run a marathon.
“I was very anxious on the morning of the marathon but I absolutely loved it and it was the best thing I have ever done and I would urge anyone to try it.”
She ran the Rome Mara-thon with her friend Mandy Cooper and was delighted to complete it in 5 hours 36 minutes. “I was so excited I couldn’t sleep for a couple of nights afterwards,” she said.
Mrs Mangham has been a volunteer with Age UK Wiltshire for four years. She visits isolated women in their home and chats to them.
She said: “Age UK provides a wonderful service and I don’t think everyone realises that.
“It’s a charity that is not as glamorous as others.”
Brian Deeley, chief officer of Age UK Wiltshire, said: “We are delighted Fiz chose to run the marathon in aid of Age UK Wiltshire. It’s a fantastic achievement.
“As a befriending volunteer her visits to isolated older people make a real difference to those who would otherwise have very little social contact.
“The money she has raised will help us to continue to provide our local services to older people in Wiltshire.”