TAKING on a marathon is always a big challenge, but tackling your 100th is something different altogether.
Nine years after starting her running journey, Lisa Hennen had tears in her eyes as she finally crossed the finish line last month, completing 2,620 miles of running and hitting the big 100.
For the 45-year-old from Lee-on-the-Solent, it was the completion of the goal of a lifetime as she finished the Marathon’s Day Marathon in Betteshanger Country Park in Kent on February 26.
The mother of two was presented with her hundredth crochet balloon – a gift which her mother Brenda Boardman had knitted for Lisa after she completed each marathon – as she crossed the finish line.
Lisa said: ‘I felt so emotional about it all. To think that I’ve run 100 marathons left me feeling a bit gobsmacked.
‘I had my family and friends there which was amazing as well and I just had to pinch myself as I thought about the achievement.’
To think that I’ve run a hundred marathons just left me feeling a bit gobsmackedLisa Hennen, 45
Her journey began after a New Year’s Eve promise in 2008 to take up running after feeling unhappy with her lack of fitness. She has mostly taken on cross-country marathons since starting, completing 10 road marathons which includes tackling Brighton four times.
Her actions have inspired her partner Eric Macgurk and two children Jenay, 17, and Olivia, 13 to take up running over the years with Lisa also forming her own running club called Lisa Solent Runners.
Jenay ran the last mile of the milestone marathon with Lisa before Olivia handed her the final balloon on the finish line.
Lisa, who works at J.B Yacht Services in Sarisbury Green was presented with a 100 marathons T-shirt after the achievement and friend Sophie Cresswell, who had tracked Lisa’s progress along the way, gave her a book filled with images chronicling the finish of every race.
Lisa added: ‘I feel so proud looking back as I was not a confident person at all before I started. I think that it just shows that we’ve all got different goals but nothing will ever happen unless you give it a go.’ She’s not going to rest on her laurels and is in fact set to take on her 101st marathon this weekend in Dorset.