My name is Sarah Jane Pope and I am training for three marathons this
year to raise money for the marine conservation charity Project Seagrass.

In LESS THAN ONE WEEK I kick off my challenge with the London Marathon on Sunday 23 rd April. The training is going well, I’ve done my final big 22-mile run and I’m on the taper into the final week. I’ve come a long way since October and I’m thrilled with the progress I have made.

However, my personal nemesis is my home marathon, and the one that I am most looking forward to doing! I trained for Edinburgh in 2012 and was on the final big 22-mile run when I tripped over a root of a tree and injured my IT band.

Devastated.

Last year we welcomed some friends to Edinburgh for the marathon and it was at this event that I got the marathon bug again! During the 2016 event I was working in MacMillan Massage Tent at the finish and the buzz amongst the athletes was just fantastic! This experience, coupled with the fun had at the Charity Village after the event, gave me the inspiration to bounce back and start my training again!

This year I have done most of my training around the Meadows and the perimeter route (Queens Drive) of Arthurs Seat. So, if you have seen me running around and around in circles then don’t worry, I am OK, I’ve just been marathon training!

I laugh a little inside when I see the same people sitting on a meadows bench for the eighth or ninth time in a morning! It must be funny being them and watching me deteriorate a little with every lap!

The Edinburgh Marathon (28 th May) is still a little over 12 weeks away and so there is a nice gap between the first two marathons. However, I think the real challenge will be backing up for the Stockholm Marathon (June 3rd) just a week later!

Luckily for all of us who are training for marathons, the mornings and evenings are much lighter than in the depths of winter (sunrise was at 06:01 this morning and the sun isn’t setting until 20:25) and so I am no longer starting my runs in the dark before I start work, or motivating myself to go out in the dark after a long day in the office!

But why I am I doing this challenge? To raise money for Project Seagrass of course! I’m not a scientist, but I wanted to help the team in a way that I can and support them on their mission to raise awareness of seagrass meadows. In particular, to help them promote their new smartphone app Seagrass Spotter! A citizen science app with a big role to play in the mapping and future protection of our seagrass meadows.

Personally, I have learnt so much about these amazing ecosystems and I admire the dedication these guys have shown in growing Project Seagrass into the successful organisation it is today. I mean what an amazing achievement to build a charity from scratch whilst working full time! Surely their efforts alone are worth some sponsorship? http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/SJPopester

 

See you in Edinburgh!

SJ x