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Tricia and 27 women over 50 (all non-runners), training to run the marathon together

Article by Ceri Wheeldon

When Tricia Ellis decided to run her first marathon, she decided she didn’t want to do it alone.  Always a keen runner (but never having run a marathon), Tricia thought it would be ideal if other 50 something ladies joined her in her challenge.

Tricia had no idea, how placing a request for a running partner of the Blackpool Evening  Gazette  18 months ago, would change her life, or the lives of the other women who joined her in her training and her goal. Tricia’s only request when asking others to join her  was they were new to running, and that were all over 50.

37 women turned up in the church hall that first evening, 27 are still with her on her journey. They are on track to run the Edinburgh marathon on the 27th May this year. 27 women over 50, from all walks of life , lawyers, doctors, carers , and  including 2 women who had just finished chemo, have met twice a week and trained  four times a week in all weather for 18 months to prepare for the challenge.

Over the past 18 months they have helped see each other through bereavement and divorce. Lives have been transformed as they have inspired each other and their families as sheer determination has seen them get within touching distance of the marathon finishing line.

Tricia and her  group of 27 aged between 50 and 66 will run the Edinburgh Marathon together

From having not run at all, this weekend will see all 27 women aged between 50 and 66 run 16 miles in preparation for the marathon ahead of them.

The Edinburgh Marathon has welcomed the Goalden Girls with open arms. They have travelled to Glasgow for pre- marathon photo-shoot, and Tricia herself was nominated for, and won, the Spirit of Lancashire ‘Unsung Hero’ award.

While training they have participated in a number of charity events, raising £7000 so far. Strong friendships have been formed in a way that goes far beyond running together. They are now a firm part of each other’s lives and support network.

They are all determined to complete all 26 miles of the marathon, all determined to show that you can set and achieve new challenges over 50. So determined is Tricia that the marathon will not be the end of their running – or the Goalden Girls- she has set up an annual Goalden Girls  10k run in Blackpool , open to women of all ages, the first of which will take place in May of this year.

Tricia hadn’t anticipated the effect that preparing to run the marathon would have on her life or her fellow runners. She is immensely proud of what they have all achieved. She will be prouder still when all 27 step over the finishing line.

All ‘Goalden’, and all Fab (and fitter!) after Fifty!

We wish the Goalden Girls every success in the Edinburgh Marathon.

Ceri Wheeldon

Ceri is Founder and Editor of Fabafterfifty.co.uk She is a frequent speaker at events and in the media on topics related to women over 50 , including style and living agelessly. With 20+ years experience as a headhunter Ceri also now helps support those looking to extend their working lives.

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  1. Novelette

    February 12, 2012

    I love this! I think we should do this in London.

    • Ceri Wheeldon

      February 13, 2012

      It’s a great idea. The Goalden Girls did look at running in London, but as there were so many of them they didn’t want the added pressure of having to raise the c. £56,000 to guarantee them all being able to run! Edinburgh was much more straightforward and apparently very welcoming and supportive.

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