Marathon challenger Laura Jones is racing towards achieving her goal of seven in a year after beating ‘punishing’ heat to successfully complete race number four thanks to the support of some very cute bystanders.
The Swansea-born 29-year-old completed the Rottnest Marathon in five hours, 57 minutes. During the race, temperatures climbed from around 18C at 7am to around 30C in the late morning.
Having already completed marathons in London, Everest and Patagonia, Laura was hoping to beat her London Marathon time of just over five hours but admitted the heat slowed her progress almost as much as the altitude on Everest, with many runners collapsing from heat exhaustion just a few hours in.
The marathon involves four laps of Rottnest Island, which is situated just off the coast of Perth in Western Australia. The island is also home to friendly little quokkas – a small marsupial which came out to watch.
Laura said: “It’s just impossible to move quickly, especially if you’re not used to the heat. The Australians seemed to fare slightly better with it, but even so, it was clear that everyone found it pretty punishing.
“I started steadily and hoped for plenty of shade as I went around but there was hardly any. I was really strict on myself to keep hydrated, take my time, and replenish my salts at every opportunity. The sun was really brutal – relentless – and the course was mostly tarmac which radiated the heat even more. The soles even fell off the shoes of one runner.”
Laura is now preparing for race number five, the Seattle Marathon on 26th November.
She said: “I’m really looking forward to some cool air to run in! There’s a good chance it’ll be cold and damp. That suits me pretty well provided it’s not pouring with rain.”
Laura is continuing to raise money for her chosen charities; The Jonny Wilkinson Foundation and The Scouts, and has already raised more than £3,100 – 30 per cent of her target. Anyone who would like to donate can do so via her website www.icanrun7.com.
For more information on how to donate and to keep up to date with Laura’s journey please visit: www.icanrun7.com