A ticket to run the London Marathon


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Sonia Hampton after running the London Marathon


Twenty-six years since she ran her last marathon, Sonia Hampton has managed to cross off one of the biggest items from her running “bucket list” – the London Marathon.

Ms Hampton, an information and communication technology administrator based at the Manawatu campus, was encouraged by a friend to enter her name for the London Marathon ballot. Just 25 places are allocated annually to New Zealanders and seven years after first entering her name, she was eventually selected.

The marathon is the Britain’s largest annual fundraiser and this year 444,168 applicants were narrowed down to 56,398 entrants.

“To be able to run the marathon was simply a dream come true,“ Ms Hampton says. “I would watch the London Marathon on TV and always thought that I would love to run it.”

The race goes past all the major landmarks in the city and ends up outside Buckingham Palace. “As a royalist and fan of all things British, this really spurred me on when I was running it.”

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Sonia Hampton (third from the right) with her running group, the Supermums.


Training

In her late teens she represented New Zealand in the road relay team and in cross-country running. She regularly runs 10km events, half marathons and relay races including the Great Lake Relay in Taupo with a group of friends, the Supermums, a team made up of army personnel and their families, and Massey staff and friends.

Notwithstanding her physical activities, Ms Hampton knew she had to increase her mileage and focus on her training in the lead-up to the marathon. Her rigorous training schedule saw her running up to 31kms at the weekends and shorter runs at lunchtimes, losing 10kg in weight as a result.  

For lunchtime sessions, she would be joined by her ITS colleagues keen to support and encourage her along the way. “It was so nice to have company in the week while I trained as it would be quite lonely at the weekends when I would go on the long runs. My colleagues have been so supportive and encouraging.”

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Office celebrations


A great achievement

Ms Hampton completed the marathon with a time of four hours and 59 minutes. Her colleagues celebrated her achievements by decking her desk area out in Union Jacks and organising a lunch of fish and chips with mushy peas.

Not one to rest of her laurels, Ms Hampton is now eyeing up competing in the Abbott World Marathon Majors, a series of six of the largest and most renowned marathons in the world – Boston, Berlin, Chicago, London, New York and Tokyo.

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