'This Girl Can' - Mum of three Jo Cresdee completes Stour Valley Path 100km Ultra Run for Suffolk Babies
PUBLISHED: 14:54 16 August 2017 | UPDATED: 14:54 16 August 2017
When Suffolk mother-of-three Jo Cresdee decided to compete in a 100km ultramarathon, her friends and family thought she was insane.
It was just two years since her first 5km Kesgrave Park Run and the furthest she had run since then was a half marathon.
Despite the warnings, Ms Cresdee, 38, was determined to prove she could do it. She had set herself a £2,500 fundraising target for Suffolk Babies, the not-for-profit company she runs helping young families in Kesgrave, She was not going to let them down.
On Saturday, after more than 14 hours of running, suffering from a sprained ankle, Ms Cresdee finished the Stour Valley Path 100km Ultra Run. She was one of only 67 to finish the race.
“It was brutal,” she said. “The fact I managed to complete it was nothing short of a miracle. No one thought I was going to do it.”
Ms Cresdee, who is nominated as a This Girl Can ambassador, said she had struggled to run even short distances two years ago.
After training to regain her confidence, she took part in last year’s Woodbridge 10km, followed by the Ipswich half marathon.
She said she wanted to try the ultramarathon as a “journey of discovery” but also for Suffolk Babies, the organisation she founded with Katie Mackenzie and Emily Boyd in July 2016.
Setting out from Newmarket on Saturday morning, however, Ms Cresdee said she had a “really awful” start. But with support from coach John Reynolds, as well as friends and family cheering her on, she found her rhythm. Even after a painful ankle injury in the closing stages, she managed to keep going, crossing the finishing line in Brantham, in 14hrs, 36mins 1sec.
“I’m so proud I finished, especially coming from such a low starting point, when so many were sceptical about whether I could do it,” she said. “It just goes to show, if you set your goals, train and work hard for it, you really can achieve what you want.
“What really kept me going was all the women who came to Suffolk Babies looking to me for guidance. I thought I’ve got to do it for their sake.”
Ms Cresdee has raised more than £2,000 to help Suffolk Babies continue its work providing antenatal classes and activities for families with young children.