Eventing legend Mary King to take on the London Marathon aged 60

  • Eventing legend Mary King will take on the London Marathon next month as she ticks another item off her “bucket list”.

    Mary, who turned 60 in June, will run the 26.2-mile marathon on 3 October in aid of the Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity. Mary is no stranger to taking on new challenges; in 2019 she took part in the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race.

    “Racing across the ocean was really fantastic and hardcore through the roaring seas and after that I thought ‘what else can I do?’. I’ve always loved having challenges to aim for and now that I’m not eventing as much as I used to at the top level and I’m just doing the young horses, I thought ‘I’d love to run a marathon’,” Mary told H&H.

    “With lockdown the marathon didn’t happen in 2020 and when the organisers said it was definitely happening in autumn this year I thought ‘right, let’s do it!’ so I started training in April.”

    Mary used her knowledge of getting horses fit to help with her own fitness for the marathon.

    “Starting from April I’ve run every third day, a bit like you would galloping horses. To start with I couldn’t really run up the road and I wasn’t very good but now I can keep on going,” she said.

    “I haven’t followed a particular running programme but I suppose having got the horses fit many times, I’ve just done my own thing and used common sense. You gradually push yourself more and more, and this last month leading up to the marathon I’ve done a couple of longer runs.”

    Mary said she is not aiming for an “ultra-fast time”.

    “I just want to get the job done. I will be running with my former head girl Annie Corbin, who was with me for 11 years during my days with King William and Star Appeal,” she said.

    “Running makes you feel great. Healthwise it keeps you fit and strong and you can eat lots! It’s a bit like galloping across country, when you finish, it feels really good. You get a real buzz from it.”

    Mary said the London Marathon is likely to be her first and last marathon, but next on her bucket list is to finish sailing around the world.

    “I wouldn’t ever do it all in one because it would mean being away too long but I’ve sailed across the Atlantic, and I’ve done the Indian and Southern ocean in the race. I just need to do the Pacific and through the Panama Canal, then I will have completed the around the world sail, so that’s my next plan,” she said.

    Donations can be made to Mary’s Just Giving page.

    Are you taking part in the London Marathon for a good cause? Get in touch with becky.murray@futurenet.com for possible inclusion in our London Marathon round-up story.

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