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Val keeps on running

PUBLISHED: 10:44 10 October 2001 | UPDATED: 15:18 03 March 2010

THEY say life begins at 40 but for one Suffolk woman life as a fitness-fanatic began at the grand age of 56.

Sprightly Val Walters, from Stowmarket, recently took part in her first big run - The Felixstowe Half Marathon - and she only started jogging in March.

THEY say life begins at 40 but for one Suffolk woman life as a fitness-fanatic began at the grand age of 56.

Sprightly Val Walters, from Stowmarket, recently took part in her first big run – The Felixstowe Half Marathon – and she only started jogging in March.

Amazingly Mrs Walters got round the course in a time of two hours and seventeen minutes and already has her sights on another possible challenge.

She said: "It was a lovely feeling finishing the race, it's not something I ever thought I would do. The day after I ached a little bit but now I'm fine.

"When I crossed the finish line I thought never again but now I'm not sure."

She even hinted that she might be prepared to double the distance and try for the London Marathon.

A special mention was saved for her personal fitness trainer Rob Welham who went round the course with her.

"I am so pleased for Rob. He was with me every step of the way and helped to pace me."

Mrs Walters decided to join MissFits Health and Fitness Club, in Whitehouse Road, Ipswich, after some gentle persuasion from her niece, Beverley Waspe.

Before joining the ladies-only club, cleaner Mrs Walters hardly exercised at all, save for a few lengths at the swimming pool.

She said: "My niece saw it advertised and said shall we give it a try. We joined up and it's been great, the staff look after you very well."

After deciding to run in Sunday's > event Mrs Walters has been in heavy training ever since.

However, she doesn't just run for fitness, the 13-mile effort was also in aid of a charity very close to Mrs Walters' heart, Sargant Cancer Care for Children.

She said: "My niece's daughter Abigail has a tumour on her brain and my sister lost her first grandson, Brandon, to Leukaemia, so it is very dear to me."

The fitness fanatic raised in the region of £300 for the charity.

Her commitment to her regime has certainly impressed trainer Rob.

He said: "She absolutely amazes me. I have never known anybody to show so much courage and dedication.

"She sticks to the programme and just keeps pushing and pushing. I have been a fitness trainer for over ten years and Val is definitely one of the most remarkable people I have come across."

However it seems her enthusiasm is yet to rub-off on husband Brian. She said: "He thinks I am mad because I am not normally sporty. I think it's a dead-cert he won't be down the gym, he's not sporty at all, except for watching it on television."

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