University of Exeter PhD student Jenny Timms at the Flora London Marathon, 2009. Image: The Brain Research Trust.

Exeter student set to complete marathon challenge

University of Exeter PhD student Jenny Timms was the 5th female student to finish the 2009 Flora London Marathon on Sunday 26 April and has so far raised £300 for her charity, The Brain Research Trust.

But there’s no time to celebrate as Jenny faces the challenge of another marathon in less than two weeks.

The Coastal Marathon Exmoor on 9th May will be Jenny’s ninth Marathon in under seven months. Jenny aims to complete ten marathons in seven months and faces the daunting challenge of the UK Half Ironman event in June and full Ironman in August.

30 year-old Jenny Timms is in her first year of PhD in running biomechanics with the School of Sport and Health Sciences. Her studies focus on the mechanics of the foot in running gait.

Jenny says: “I’ve always enjoyed running and my own experience of injury led me down the path of lower limb biomechanics academically. Being based in scenic Devon I particularly enjoy trail running and the Endurancelife 7x7x7 (7 marathons, 7 coast-path locations, 7 months) was a perfect challenge for me. I then had the idea of running 10 marathons in total, beginning with the Devon Marathon Championships in October and including the London Marathon as the BUCS championships. Triathlon is a new challenge for me this year and the Ironman seemed the obvious choice given my background in endurance sport.”

Jenny has lived in Devon since 2002. She achieved a first class honours degree in Podiatry from the University of Plymouth before working with the NHS, specialising in Musculoskeletal Podiatry. She then moved to Exeter for an MSc in Sport & Exercise Medicine with the University of Exeter, graduating with distinction. She also works privately alongside physiotherapists, sports therapists and orthopaedic surgeons, with a client base of athletes ranging from local to international level. After completing her PhD she hopes to continue to explore the prevention and treatment of lower limb injury.

To train for the London marathon, Jenny built-up her weekly mileage to around 50 in order to give her the conditioning for road running while also minimising the risk of injury. Her total weekly training involves between 13 and 17 hours of running and cross-training in the pool, on the bike and in the gym.

Head of the School of Sport and Health Sciences Professor Roger Eston says: “What a super achievement for such a worthy cause! To run 26 miles and 385 yards is one thing, but to repeat this 9 times in such a short period of time is an incredible achievement. Well done Jenny, we are all very proud of you!”

To support Jenny in raising money for her charity, The Brain Research Trust:

Jenny Timms’ challenges are:
October 08 - Dartmoor Vale Marathon - 1st woman, Devon Marathon Champion
November 08 - Coastal Marathon Dorset - 5th woman
December 08 - Coastal Marathon Gower - 6th woman
January 09 - Coastal Marathon Portland - 3rd woman
February 09 - Coastal Marathon South Devon - 5th woman
March 09 - Coastal Marathon Pembrokeshire - 3rd woman
April 09 - Coastal Marathon Cornwall - 5th woman
April 09 – Flora London Marathon - BUCS championships 5th woman
May 09 - Coastal Marathon Exmoor
June 09 - UK Ironman 70.3 triathlon (1.2m swim, 56m bike, 13.1m run)
June 09 - Force Century Cycle Challenge (100m bike)
August 09 - UK Ironman triathlon (2.4m swim, 112m bike, 26.2m run)
September 09 - Endurancelife Coast to Coast 140m crossing from N to S Devon swim, bike, run

Date: 1 May 2009