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Sally's story: marathon training is plain sailing

Woman runningSally SpiersWhile most London Marathon competitors are pounding the dreary, grey streets near their work or homes, Sally Spiers' training regime has been looking rather ship-shape.

When not doing laps of the Queen Mary 2 (QM2), the luxury ocean liner she works on, Sally has been running past some of the most famous landmarks in the world in her bid to raise money for the British Red Cross. Sally, 30, from Leicestershire, has been cruising round the world since signing up for the marathon. Her training runs have taken in the bright lights of Hong Kong, Sydney Opera House and Copacabana beach in Brazil. 

Unique marathon training

She said: “The boat is huge but three laps is only equivalent to a mile, so as well as training on the boat I have been doing runs when we have stopped off at ports.

“My colleagues have been enjoying the local culture and cuisine while I’ve been off training – but I’m hoping the memories of running past amazing sights will help me through those final gruelling miles.”

It’s Sally’s first marathon, but she thinks her unique training regime may give her the edge over some of her competitors. She said: “Everything you do from the second you wake up turns into part of your training plan, whether it be walking up the 14 flights of stairs for boat drill or pacing laps around the deck at lunch time.”

International perspective

Sailing the world has inspired her to support the Red Cross’ international work, Sally said: "My job has changed my perception of the world. You see at first-hand how tragedies affect people on an individual basis rather than just on the news.

“The Australian bushfires, for example, affected some of our crew and guests. The one thing I've noticed is that the Red Cross is always there regardless of country, religion or race.”

Sally is joining 70 other Red Cross runners in the race on 26 April 2009, who will raise an estimated £89,000 for the charity’s work in the UK and overseas.

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