LONDON CALLING FOR MARATHON WOMAN DONNA
- Inverness athlete secures place in London Marathon
- Donna flies flag for Scotland in Team Fujitsu
- Another milestone in short running career
When Donna Fitzpatrick was unsuccessful in the public ballot for next year’s London Marathon she thought an immovable hurdle had been put in the way of her athletic ambition.
However Donna will be in the line-up next April after being selected as the only Scottish member of a five-strong team from leading IT firm Fujitsu. Her team-mates, three men and another woman, are all from the London area.
It is another significant milestone for the mother-of-six who only took up running in January 2012 when she admits she struggled to get as far as two lampposts before stopping for a rest. But, having persevered with the sport, she ran her first 10k race in October 2012 and this year has already taken part in four 10k events and four half marathons.
Donna, 45, from Culloden, Inverness, has a BSc degree in computing from Inverness College UHI where she is a former Student of the Year. Earlier this month she started a full-time business support post with Fujitsu in Inverness after completing a year-long graduate placement.
She took up running last January when a new Jog Scotland group started at Inverness Leisure: “I’d been a regular badminton player but felt that I wanted to add something else to improve my fitness levels and lose some weight”, she said. “The first night I went along I joined the two-mile group and struggled to run more than two lampposts without needing a walking break. For four days afterwards my legs were so sore and I was genuinely shocked at how unfit I was.”
But after completing her first 10k she took part in the Inverness Half Marathon in March this year, followed by the Edinburgh Rock’n’Roll half Marathon in April. Inspired by her success, the Dublin Rock’n’Roll Half Marathon was chalked off in August and the Great Scottish Run Half Marathon was completed in October: “I now have some serious bling in my medal collection”, she said.
Donna is now also a Jog Leader with Jog Scotland. She said: “I thoroughly enjoy motivating new runners to come along, encouraging them whilst we’re out and giving the benefit of my wisdom… I’ve been where they are, so I know how tough it can be.”
In the London Marathon, the Fujitsu team will be running to raise funds for Shelter, one of the firm’s charity partners. Donna has set a personal target of £1,800 and has a number of fundraising events lined up to help reach the total.
A Onesie Dress up Day was held at Fujitsu on 1 November and there are also plans for a silent auction/raffle. One of Donna’s friends is also holding a fundraising ‘Non-Wedding’ in February – complete with ‘bridesmaids’, ‘ushers’ and ‘minister’, but no groom. Guests pay for a ticket and gifts will be replaced by donations, while a fundraising hen party will add to the coffers.
Other events to raise cash include IT sessions, when Donna will teach people how to use social media and computer devices; a photography workshop by Heilan Photography; and a car boot sale.
Donna added: “I’ve watched the London Marathon on TV a few times over the years and had so much admiration for those participating. With my half marathon success and my passion for running I started to wonder if I could achieve that distance.
“I was delighted and excited when selected for the Fujitsu team and I am determined to work hard and enjoy what is definitely going to be an experience of a lifetime.”
For further information contact
01462 724593;07730 099167