Jacqui takes part in the Marathon Walk London each year for BookTrust

Published on: 26 January 2022 Author: BookTrust

She shares how she prepares for such a challenge and how to get involved too!

Jacqui at the London Mararthon

As a Primary school teacher and book-obsessed mum of two, Jacqui is around books and children every day. She explains:

“I see those children who love reading doing so much better than their peers across the curriculum.”

Inspired to support her favourite charity BookTrust and prove her family and herself she could do it, she was determined to walk a marathon.

“I'm not a natural athlete but I always thought I could complete a marathon if I was allowed to walk it.”

To help her complete it, Jacqui downloads a training plan.

"There are lots online and the organisers, Discover Adventure, have one on their website. It starts off nice and gently with short walks and then ramps up a bit each week. If you can walk a couple of miles now, you'll be fine, if not you can 'snack' on exercising - building up by breaking up your walking into smaller chunks throughout the day to build up your stamina."

Jacqui adapted the plan to fit around work, went out early each training day to get her miles in before school and by walking more steps in her summer holidays. She advises:

“You need to make it work for you - I'm a lark, while for some people the evenings would work better.”

She tracked all her walks with a Fitbit and recorded distances/times so she could track her progress.

“If you don't have an activity tracker, the website Mapometer is really useful in planning/measuring your distances.”

Visit Mapometer

Taking part in the challenge has helped Jacqui gain confidence as she was previously often last to be picked for teams in PE at school. Jacqui says: 

“Now, I can say that I can walk a marathon and that's a fabulous feeling. It's also an absolute joy to know that every step I take along the way will ultimately help put books into the hands of children who might otherwise never have that pleasure.”

Jacqui believes sharing books is a joy.

“Reading to my class is the highlight of every day for me. Books can be a great way of starting those tricky conversations we'd rather not have and when children see characters that they care about having a rough time too they know they're not alone and that things will get better.”

Asked what she would say to anyone thinking of signing up and fundraising, Jacqui reveals:

“Go for it!!! If the pandemic's taught me anything, it's that you have to seize chances when you have them. Nothing beats the feeling of crossing the line and knowing that not only have you made a difference to other people's lives, but you've done something challenging that many people haven't. If you don't feel the full distance is for you, there's a half-marathon too which is still a long way and will still be an enormous achievement. It would be great to have some other BookTrust Friends there on the big day.”

Do you feel inspired and looking to take on an incredible challenge this year?

Whether it's walking, running, cycling, swimming, or even skydiving, there are loads of fun ways to show your support for BookTrust - and we'll be with you every step of the way.

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