Tomorrow's Vitality Oxford Half Marathon (12 October) is the culmination of two months of 'celebrity' treatment for competition winners Simon Hodkin from Steeple Aston and Frances Alcock from Amersham. The pair won the competition run by race sponsors PruHealth and PruProtect to become ‘Faces’ of the Vitality Oxford Half Marathon and have been blogging their progress weekly.
As part of their prize, which also included running kit and a camcorder, Simon and Frances were given places on a special training day with Sir Steve Redgrave organised by the race series charity partner, Laureus.
Simon, 55 said: “The Laureus training day was great. Sir Steve was a really charismatic guy and it was an inspiration being around him and seeing his medals, but all the experts there helped including the nutritionist and the personal trainer who knew their subjects well.”
The IT consultant is looking forward to improving last years’ time - run in biblical conditions - and enjoying the route which takes in Iffley Track where Sir Roger Bannister ran his sub four minute mile, 60 years ago:
“I haven’t dared look at the forecast but don’t think it can be any worse than last year’s conditions. We get to run one circuit on Iffley Track which is quite unique for a half marathon and it’s obviously a very historic place - I am excited and ready!”
Frances Alcock, 50 has raised over £500 for Parkinson’s UK and will have her family supporting her along the route: “I’m most looking forward to the whole atmosphere and my boys who are 12 and 14 are race makers on the day so will be cheering me on."
The full-time nurse has grown in confidence since the summer and blogging for PruHealth has helped too: “I’m really up for Sunday and I don’t feel nervous at the moment, I’ve been in the ditches this morning doing my final last fitness bits as well as some running and walking. I think I will miss the blogging as that has helped motivate me.”
Follow both Simon’s and Frances’s blogs at the PruHealth website.
The Vitality Oxford Half Marathon is sponsored by PruHealth and PruProtect. For more information on the Vitality Run Series visit the event website.