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With less than two weeks to go until our three Big Marathon Challenge participants take part in the ASICS Greater Manchester Marathon, Christina Macdonald caught up with them for a final pre-race progress update…

We all know how quickly time passes, but when you’re training for a marathon, the months can positively fly by. It doesn’t seem very long since our three ladies were chosen for the Big Marathon Challenge, and now they’re less than two weeks away from race day. There have been a few niggles, but the ladies have enjoyed the training journey. Last month, they visited the ASICS stadium in Warrington for a training day that involved hitting the running track for a session led by coach Ben Barwick, from Full Potential. They also had personal consultations with ASICS’ Pro Team experts – performance nutritionist Ruth McKean, physiotherapist Sarah Connors and performance psychologist Stuart Holliday. So how are they feeling about race day at this late stage?


Richard Coates, Full Potential Richard has been running since his teens and has completed more than 30 marathons and ultras. He’s a UKA Level 2 running coach, so the team’s training is in safe

Gareth Pashley, ASICS Gareth has been with ASICS for five years, as Category Manager for Running, working across PR and ASICS’ Elite Athletes. He will help the team to get the most from their shoes and kit. @gazzpash

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About Women’s Running

Ever thought about how your favourite hobby might impact the environment? Grab yourself the May issue of Women’s Running, to find out more about your carbon running footprint – and how you can reduce it. With advice on everything from the best ethical running kit, to making your own drinks and fuel, to starting run-commuting, you’ll find an abundance of ideas on how to become a more eco-conscious runner. And you won’t be short of inspiration. Read how cover star Lizzie Carr transformed from a high-flying city girl to a passionate environmentalist and adventurer, and how contributing editor Claire Chamberlain managed to beat her 10K PB, after transitioning to a vegan diet. As ever, you’ll find the usual training advice, including the lowdown on all things tapering, and regular Best in Test gear reviews – this month, WR testers have reviewed the latest minimal, neutral and support shoes, so grab yourself a copy to find out which shoes came out on top!