Frances McCallum

A Burntwood woman who only took up running to lose weight in 2013 will take on the London Marathon this weekend.

Frances McCallum will pound the streets of the capital to raise money for Action on Pre-eclampsia.

But her running only began two years ago. She said: “After having my daughter in August 2012, my weight came off slowly until I decided to start running in November 2013.

Frances McCallum

“Once I felt fairly confident about being able to run for 30 minutes or so, I went to a Walsall Parkrun – a free timed 5k run that enables runners of all abilities to compete against themselves every Saturday. My first one was 37mins 12secs, nearly last!

“But it is such a massive achievement to go from not running at all to being able to run for 37 minutes non-stop.”

Since then, Frances has entered a number of races, including the Pelsall 10k – but the longer distance has become her new challenge.

“In October, I completed the Birmingham Half Marathon for Birmingham Children’s Hospital,” she said.

“I trained for 12 weeks beforehand but felt strangely underwhelmed at the finish. I knew I would only be satisfied if I completed a marathon!”

Fran has also been named one of Action on Pre-eclampsia’s top three fundraisers after smashing her £1,250 target by March thanks to quiz nights, raffles and fundraising parties.

But she hasn’t taken the eye off her preparation for the big race.

“I have been training for London since Christmas, fitting in runs between my husband’s shifts, working and looking after my toddler,” she explained. “I have run with a headtorch on in the cold dark winter mornings and run through snow storms.

“Finally, the better weather is here and I have done my furthest training run of 20 miles. All that is left is my lap of honour on Sunday!”

People can support Frances’ fundraising via her online page.

Founder of LichfieldLive and editor of the site.