Running 26.2 miles seems like a distant dream to many - but local woman Samantha Fox breezed through the London Marathon in just four-and-a-half hours.
Samantha, 43, was inspired to start running three years ago, when colleague and best friend Louise helped her catch the bug.
Samantha said: “I’d just started at my new job, and one of the first things Louise asked me was if I ever ran in my spare time.
“Eventually I caved and went running with her and I’ve since never looked back.”
Samantha went on to join Skegness and District Running Club and ended up being one of the three names pulled out of the hat for club spaces in the 2019 London Marathon.
She said: “I was delighted to be picked, but I did think - now the real work begins!”
She went on to follow a rigorous training programme, which gradually built her up to running 20 miles.
Inspired and spurred on by her sister, Sarah, who had stage 4 ovarian cancer, Samantha trained in the name of her chosen charity, the Ovarian Care Fund, a charity researching treatment for advanced ovarian cancer in women.
It’s thanks to this charity that Samantha’s sister received ground-breaking surgery at the Queen Charlotte Hospital in London.
Her other guiding light was friend Sarah Smith who, in her sixties, went on every single training run with Samantha.
Samantha admitted: “I think she regretted committing to some of the longer ones, but I’m so happy I had her support.
“She was my rock.”
She added: “I had all kinds of different emotions in the run up to the marathon.
“The week before I was calm, but I became a bit impatient to get on with it.
“On the day, I loved every minute of it.
“My running club leader was at mile 21 and Louise was waiting at mile 22, which was a huge boost.
“I was entertained the whole way round by the crowds, bands and drums - and of course I had the sights of London to take in.”
Samantha has raised over £1,300 for the Ovarian Care Fund, but the link is still live for donations.
She said: “I’d like to thank everyone who has given so far.
“My work has been amazing, colleagues have given about £400!”
To donate, click here