This mum runs: preparing for the Cambridge Half Marathon

Category: Staff

14 January 2020

University librarian Libby Homer in running top and with headphones

I’ve been running for about 14 years (although when I say running, I mean jogging at a slow pace) and this year will be taking part in three half-marathons.

Cambridge will be the first half-marathon on my 2020 ‘racing calendar’ and I’ll also be running London Landmarks at the end of March, and then Hackney Half in the middle of May.

I've been working at ARU for nearly two years, and I'm a University Librarian. I am by no means a natural runner; I was really terrible at it at school but when I started work after my degree, I realised it was a means to an end – run miles, eat (more) cake!

I started out by running a mile on the treadmill at the gym and then progressed to running three miles outside, and then a bit further. I have taken part in numerous 10km events now, and Cambridge will be my second half-marathon (having completed the first five years ago, before my daughter was born).

I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with running. I like the flexibility (I am normally the smug delegate at a conference who has run in the morning and can get really stuck into the breakfast buffet!) but I have to accept that I’ll never be really fast, particularly as I struggle to be bothered to try. Fartlek and I are not friends.

I have however, over the last two years started running with other people, and joined a group called This Mum Runs. They hold social runs in a number of locations across the UK and one started in my local area on a Sunday morning which I decided to join. The purpose of the group is provide mums with a bit of head space. We only run for half an hour, but I’ve made some great friends and my cardio-vascular performance has definitely improved due to the amount of talking we do! I also now lead a This Mum Runs group on a Wednesday evening. Again, we run for half an hour and allow everyone to go at their own pace by asking faster runners to loop on runs.

It is the This Mum Runs group that persuaded me to enter the ballot for London Landmarks. I was the only one to get a place, so peer pressure made me take it. I had also been thinking about running Cambridge last year but was studying for a Masters at the time and couldn’t commit the time to both. But having finished the MSc, I knew I had no excuse! To round it off, I thought I would run Hackney, a half-marathon local to where I live, as I know many people who have participated before and raved about the race. It also gives me the opportunity to run for a charity close to my heart, Prostate Cancer UK, a disease which my uncle died of about 18 months ago. If you would like to sponsor me, the page is

I hope to see plenty of support on 8 March in Cambridge, and really, really hope to meet our University mascot Ruskin the Rhino as a reward at the end of the race! Good luck to everyone taking part – see you at the start line!


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