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Barking’s Spooner in mighty marathon challenge success as she smashes yearly target

PUBLISHED: 16:00 21 December 2017

Barking Road Runners Faye Spooner ran 15 marathons this year

Barking Road Runners Faye Spooner ran 15 marathons this year

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Barking Road Runners’ Faye Spooner proved more than up to her challenge of running 12 marathons in 12 months this year – going on to run 15!

Faye Spooner's name was on her Usual Suspects medalFaye Spooner's name was on her Usual Suspects medal

Spooner set herself the test to improve her endurance and certainly did that as she ended her year at the Usual Suspects event at the weekend.

The 12-in-12 challenge began in January at the East Hanningfield trail marathon, where Spooner tackled ‘a ridiculous amount of mud’, and the Unusual Suspects event in Gravesend, where she was joined by Cristina and Trevor Cooper in hail and snow.

There was more mud and rain at the Hockley Woods trail challenge where Spooner was accompanied by fellow members Amanda Heslegrave, Barry Culling and Andy Preston and she set a personal best of three hours 46 minutes at Manchester, as Alison Fryatt and Diarmuid Mac Donnell kept her company in warmer conditions.

The Alice in Wonderland Caucus Race entailed laps of Samphire Hoe in rain and wind on mixed terrain, alongside Ian Cummins of Dagenham 88s, and Spooner ran her sixth marathon in Edinburgh.

The South Downs marathon coincided with the hottest day of the year, where tough hills on a trail course were offset by beautiful views, which Spooner rated as her favourite event.

After a couple of trail attempts went wrong, due to sickness, fainting and not being able to run very far, Spooner dug deep in the Twilight Marathon at Redbridge to claim the first female prize, before running a ninth marathon just four days later at the Great British Challenge, a trail of loops.

September’s Richmond event began in Kew Gardens, with Spooner starting slowly to save energy and finishing the last 5k in 25 minutes.

After completing the Chester race in October, Spooner ran her 12th marathon in Venice, which proved a stunning backdrop as she clocked 4:00.15.

Then came the Valencia marathon in Spain, which Spooner resished, and the Lucky Dip at Betteshangar before the 15th and final challenge at the Usual Suspects, where Spooner collected her biggest medal of all, and had her name engraved on it.

n Charlotte Owen completed the Sikhs in the City half marathon, despite the biting cold and hilly terrain, while Di Parsons took on the Las Palmas 10k in warmer climes and came home in 57.21.

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