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Our Big Marathon Challenge 2018 is open for entry and it ‘s bigger and better than ever before. For a guaranteed entry place into next year’s ASICS Greater Manchester Marathon, head-totoe kit and free coaching advice to get you to the start line, apply for your spot


We’re searching for three women with big marathon aspirations for 2018. Whatever your marathon goal – be it performance-related or something more personal – if you’d like some help achieving it and a guaranteed entry place at the ASICS Greater Manchester Marathon (8 April 2018) for a chance to make it happen – we’d love to hear from you. Your progress will be charted in the magazine and on the website, as well as on the Women’s Running social media pages.

As ever, last year’s team astounded us with their inspiring progress and personalities. First-time marathoner and mum Leah McDaniel wanted to rediscover her sense of self, following the sudden death of her husband in 2014, and to raise money for Save the Children. She took home her hard-earned medal at the Virgin Money London Marathon this year, raised thousands and told us the experience has helped her talk to others about her grief. Also running her first marathon was Katie Hainbach, who wanted to raise money for the Stroke Association, as well as raise awareness of how running can help mental health. She did exactly that, raising over £3,500, while also discovering the integral role that running plays in her life. Claire Price – our plate spinner of the group, working two jobs among other commitments – also had big fundraising, and training, goals. She ran two marathons, two weeks apart, achieving a sub-four-hour finish at the ASICS Greater Manchester Marathon, and raised in excess of £3,000 for chosen charity WheelPower. The speed demon of the bunch was fiercely determined Alice Doggrell, who held a sub-3.30 marathon in her sites. While she narrowly missed out on that goal at this year’s Virgin Money London Marathon (finishing in 3hrs 31mins 19secs), she broke her PB by nine minutes, and gained the confidence to trust her body, and to push it further.

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About Women’s Running

Ready to take your running off-road? Then make sure you pick up a copy of the October issue of Women’s Running – our trail special. If you’re a complete beginner, you’ll find advice for taking those first steps on the trails and, for the more experienced off-road enthusiasts, tips from the pros – find out how to “ascend like a mountain goat and descend like a demon”. With expert guides to finding the right trail shoes for you, exclusive reviews of the latest off-road shoes and top-to-toe kit suggestions for every off-road eventuality, we’ve also got your off-road wardrobe sorted. And if you’re struggling for inspiration to take your running off road, look no further than our interview with cover star Susie Chan, whose passion for trail running has taken her from the desert to the jungle. Prefer to stick to the roads? No problem. Try our sharp sessions for 10K runners – or, if you’re taking on the longer distance, don’t miss our complete race-day guide for serious marathon runners, packed with all the advice you’ll need on making your race day seamless.