After nine weeks and 156 miles, Eastbourne runner Karen Breese has finally had a chance to unlace her trainers, and despite the gruelling schedule, she admits she loved every minute.
Karen, who owns Checkers Barbers in Seaside Road, set herself a mammoth charity challenge less than three months ago, to run six half-marathons and three marathons in just nine weeks to raise money for WRAS.
Karen’s pinnacle came last Sunday when she completed the London Marathon. “It was fantastic,” she said, “it was the most incredible race I have ever done, I totally loved it. I have enjoyed the whole nine weeks.
“The crowds are amazing it was like running through Mardi Gras, for 26 miles!”
Karen, who is a member of Hailsham Harriers, kicked off her challenge with the Brighton half marathon in February.
A week later at the Tunbridge Wells half marathon it was very inspirational for Karen to meet double Olympic gold medallist Dame Kelly Holmes and Elite British distance runner Liz Yelling.
Just seven days later she was back in Eastbourne for another 13.1 miles and then it was over to Llyd half-marathon followed by the hilly seafront half at Hastings.
The final half was at Paddock Wood where she was featured on BBC South East today.
By then she had already clocked up 78 racing miles in six weeks, enough to make most people trade their trainers for an extended spell on the sofa, but Karen still had 78 more to complete.
And for her, there’s no real secret to getting round those courses. She said, “a lot of training and determination. I enjoy the challenge of long distance running and it was pleasure to run these races for WRAS who do an amazing job for our wildlife in need.”
In March she ran the Sussex Marathon, an undulating course in the countryside near Battle then it was back across to the other side of the county.
She clocked a time of 4:35 in the Brighton Marathon and all that was left then was London. After fives years of trying to secure a place, Karen admitted it was fulfilling a dream and thanked Hailsham Harriers for her London place.
“A lot of thank yous from me, to all the team at WRAS, to my staff at Checkers, because I couldn’t have done it without them.”
Karen will be back in action on May 1 at the Three Fort Marathon, Worthing a challenging 27.2 mile across the Sussex countryside.
Karen added, “We never really know what we can achieve until we really push ourselves. I have loved every minute and look forward to the next one in Worthing.”
To donate to the WRAS visit:www.justgiving.com/kazwras