Hannah Ward starts off our running blog with a bit of background and a couple of her planned events for the year. We hope to bring you updates of her training, times and tips drawn from her experiences running.

I started running properly when I met Ian ~ 7 years ago and completed my first half marathon in Lake Garda for Katherine House Hospice in November 2009 to say “thank you” for looking after my dad before he died. Since then I haven’t stopped mainly thanks to you for putting me back together after knackering both ankles and numerous spinal issues.

In 2013, we climbed Kilimanjaro for our honeymoon and raised money for Macmillan nurses again to say “thank you” for helping us out when dad was very ill.

In 2014, I completed my first marathon, and it was London! I achieved both my targets of getting in under 4 hours and raising just over £2000 for the miscarriage association. I also completed the Chester marathon that year (not for a charity).

This year I’ve done London and Stockholm marathons, both in under 4 hours and both quicker than London. My personal best now is 3:50:13 at London – these were done for me rather than the club.

Since I met Ian we have competed in and completed the Original Mountain Marathon (OMM) almost every year since 2008. (We missed one, but I can’t remember which one!) The event is a two-day event in a random locations e.g. Brecon Beacons. Basically, anywhere inhospitable! We carry everything we need for the event from Sat am until Sun pm so our tent, cooker, gas, food clothes, etc then using the map provided on the day get to as many points as we can across hills, streams, bogs, etc!!

We have a challenge we have set ourselves that we want to climb the highest peak in every county in the UK and have done quite a few but have a long way to go!!

The plan for the rest of the year is to work on core strength and speed to bring the 10k and half marathon time down. I want to break 3:50:00 for the marathon. I’m doing a 10k this weekend and will do various ones throughout the year (will update as and when I enter them). I’ll do a couple of half marathons and the OMM again in October.

I am trying to get into London on the ballot – I would like to apply to run it for The Royal Marsden Hospital in London which will be in 2016 but I haven’t contacted them yet. As I’m 40 next year, I’m also planning to run the Marathon in New York in November. I’ll do that through the ballot first or go through a travel agent. However, it will be difficult to raise a lot of money for both of them (you have to guarantee £2000 each time which may be too much of a commitment in 1 year I think.)