Determination pulls her through

Tracy Wilcocks, Donna Siberry and Janet Tolley after the London Marathon
Tracy Wilcocks, Donna Siberry and Janet Tolley after the London Marathon

SHEER determination propelled Rastrick head teacher Janet Tolley over the finishing line at her first London Marathon on Sunday.

“The last couple of miles were really tough. Some people were struggling and quite a few were walking but I was determined I was going to run all the way,” said 47-year-old Janet who finished in a time of 4 hours 10 mins and 13 secs.

Janet and her friends Tracy Wilcocks and Donna Siberry were running in aid of the charity Dogs for the Disabled. Tracy’s 10-year-old daughter Lottie has the support of an assistance dog, Velvet, through the charity.

“I have been training hard but by last Friday I was feeling really fearful about taking part,” said Janet, head teacher at Almondbury School and Language College in Huddersfield.

“The atmosphere was amazing and thousands and thousands of people turned out to watch. It was so hot at the start that I got a bit sunburnt.”

Janet’s husband Charles was in the crowd along the route to cheer his wife.

“It was a great relief to make it over the finishing line. I was elated to think I’d done it. In my age group for women aged between 45 and 49 I was 372nd. I didn’t think that was bad for a first attempt.

“I was back at work the next day with sore legs and a blister - but no other ill effects,” said Janet.

Donna and Tracy both ran the race in personal best times and all three women hope to have raised £6,000 for Dogs for the Disabled.