Inspirational Portsmouth mum to compete in this year's Great South Run after traumatic pandemic birth saw her in an induced coma

STEPHANIE Losh had a cardiac arrest and feared for her life after the birth of her fourth child.

Saturday, 16th October 2021, 9:16 am
Stephanie Losh with her daughter Annabelle. Picture: Pete Langdown

But this weekend she will be on the start line for the 10-mile Great South Run having battled back from the mental and physical toll of the traumatic delivery.

Stephanie, 39, had the cardiac arrest as she gave birth to her fourth child.

The 39-year-old then went on to have CPR and was put into an induced coma.

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Stephanie Losh (pictured middle left at the Great South Run launch event) will be competing in the 10-mile event for the first time.

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Due to lockdown restrictions, Stephanie was unable to receive visits from family and friends whilst also being unable to leave her room.

She said she then suffered with four months of high blood pressure and all her health worries led to crippling health anxiety.

Stephanie said: ‘It was pretty scary.

‘I've had children before but never in a lockdown.

‘I'm only 39, so facing your own mortality isn't something that you expect to do at that age.

‘I didn't think I'd ever feel quite the same again after that.’

This is Stephanie's first Great South Run and she has worked hard to recover mentally and physically from her birth experience by taking herself out on regular runs.

She said: ‘I really struggled with health anxieties, putting things into perspective and I just worried about everything.

‘I think that's why the running really took off for me.

‘It was time to just go and clear my head and have my own space.’

Stephanie received Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) through the NHS as she recovered from the trauma.

She said: ‘Hand in hand with the therapy and the running, I'm getting fitter and healthier as the days go on.

‘Running was really therapeutic for me.’

Stephanie has not been able to do much training for the 10-mile event due to being a mum of four and her partner, James Losh, being a long-haul pilot for British Airways.

Due to this, she has had to juggle two smaller children and two of school age as she prepared for the Great South Run.

She added: ‘I would say I'm a comfortable runner and it was always my goal to do the Great South Run before I turned 40.

‘I've never taken part in a running event before.’

Stephanie has always wanted to take part in the Great South Run but had always has been occupied with other things going on in her life. She feels that this year was the perfect time to take part as she said: ‘I'm only going to be getting older so now is the perfect time to get it done.

‘I've really enjoyed the buzz from watching the Great South Run and I'd love to do a marathon one day if I can.’

Stephanie will not be raising money for her role in this year's Great South Run due to the experience being more of a mental and physical accomplishment for herself.

But her partner James will be taking part in the run alongside Stephanie and raising money for the NSPCC.

The Great South Run is back again this year after being cancelled in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The 5k,mini and junior events will take place on Saturday, October 16 and the main 10-mile run will take place on Sunday, October 17.

Stephanie attended the Great South Run launch event alongside other inspirational runners such as Lynsey Hellier who is running for the Laura Hyde Foundation.

Also in attendance for the event were Solent Striders who are a running group with learning disabilities.

The Great South Run will be honouring pandemic heroes at this year's event in their 'Great South Thank You' campaign.

The campaign will see 10 inspirational individuals in a large-scale visual installation along the route of this year's 10-mile run.

There will also be elite runners taking part in the event, including 2019 Great South Run champion, Eilish McColgan and three-time Great South Run winner, Chris Thompson.

For more information about the Great South Run, please visit their website.

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