Shona Thomson running marathon

I’ve run marathons in London and Mallorca and been frantically searching the internet for other interesting places to run one. Paris, New York, Boston… list is endless.  I was really excited to meet Shona Thomson who’s taken this desire to another level. She’s one of 3 British women to run a marathon on all of the world’s seven continents and then she added one at the North Pole for good measure! I’m intrigued by (and slightly jealous of) strong women with the guts to take on challenges like these. I was also interested to find out why and how she left her job as a city banker to follow her running dreams and use her time to help and inspire others to become and stay active. Speaker, trainer, mentor and adventurer; a woman after my own heart and it was a pleasure to chat to her. Shona Thomson
It must have been a hard decision to leave your city job. What finally made you realise it was the right thing to do?
It was a case of a few things coming together at the same time. It had been a tough year at work and I had completed the seven continents challenge in the same year so I was really needing some time out. I also met so many inspiring people on my travels that it made me reassess some of my values.
What has been your toughest race; the one you really wondered if you could finish?
I guess I was most apprehensive about Comrades. It wasn’t the distance, the hills or the heat that I feared but the brutal time cut offs. I knew I could do it but I just didn’t know if I would do it in the time limits. Thankfully, my race strategy went according to plan and I made it comfortably round the 90k route in 11 hours.
Do you have any mind tricks or mantras that you use when the going gets tough?
I try to switch off when the going gets tough, or count, or listen to music. It’s easy to focus on what hurts but that just makes the run feel like it’s never going to end. Shona Thomson ice marathon
Lots of runners are embarking on their first marathons this Spring, what one piece of advice would you give them?
Run your own race and don’t compare yourself to anyone else. Everyone on the start line has a different journey there so there is little point worrying about what anyone else is doing other than yourself.
You’re a real ambassador for women in sport. What do you think are the biggest barriers to getting more women exercising regularly?
I’d say a huge amount has to do with self confidence. I’m very anti a lot of the images that the fitness industry promotes. Most fitness models don’t look like they do on covers most of the time. I really like the This Girl Can campaign which focuses on loving your body for what it can do, not what it can’t.
What projects are you working on at the moment?
I’m mentoring several girls through their first marathons. I’m helping them with all aspects from bespoke training plans, to nutrition, to mental strength and anything else they need help with. It’s really rewarding. I’m also doing talks and working with several charities.
Do you have any unfulfilled ambitions?
Oh, yes. There is plenty I want to do! Watch this space! You can read more about Shona’s adventures on her website . Why not follow her on Twitter? Contact her at

Fitness 4 Mamas

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  1. What a fabulous interview. You know I love running, and have completed two marathons so far, and am planning another one next Spring. I am absolutely amazed at Shona’s achievements! Such an inspiring lady! Come and link to #FitnessTuesday, cannot imagine a better post to link! @Fitness4Mamas

  2. What an incredible adventure. I do love reading motivational stories like this. I’m tentatively wondering about aiming to run my first marathon next spring. Reading something like this definitely helps inspire me. #fitnesstuesday

    1. Ooooo, you shouldn’t tell me things like that! Fancy 261 Women’s Mallorca April 10th? I won’t be running the whole mara as having a year off marathons but will be there doing 10k or half. Have a think about it 😉

      1. Wow that would be amazing, but I’m not sure about the logistics with my two little ones. I suspect it will all get too complicated (I say scuttling off to look up more about it on the Internet just in case!) . Of course now I’ve admitted that I’m hoping to do one… I’m going to have to get on with it one way or another!

        1. Do what’s right for you, it’s a big commitment and you’ve plenty of years ahead. Great goal but don’t put pressure on yourself. x

  3. Fab interview and I agree about the pressures to even get exercising, the perfection you see at the gym and via the media. I saw a film recently that showed glossies take 10 hours minimum in photo shop from shoot to cover/spread. Unbelieveable. Reality is lost. Thanks for inspiring me to get back to running, both of you #fitnesstuesday x

  4. What an inspirational interview! I notice those same old problems surface – women’s tendencies to compare ourselves to others, plus low self confidence are as relevant in running as in all areas of life! We really need to try to take the #ThisGirlCan attitude and apply it to life in general 🙂 Great post! x

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