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Keswick to Barrow 2012 - Jill set out to prove all doubters wrong

WHEN a colleague declared that women would be incapable of completing the Keswick to Barrow, it was all the incentive Jill Thompson needed.

RIGHT: Jill Thompson decided to prove a work colleague wrong who thought women weren’t up to the Keswick to Barrow challenge REF: 50004797B000

“That was it, red rag to a bull!” says Jill, of Barrow.

Two decades later, the 72-year-old continues to defy her age – and male chauvinists – by running the Keswick to Barrow every year.

And that’s on the back of running the London Marathon.

Super fit Jill, who only took up running in her late 30s, said: “I think the training for one is good for the other, but without a doubt, the Keswick to Barrow is harder – both physically and mentally.

“The marathon is different because so many people enter it, but the gradients in the Keswick to Barrow, and the length of it.”

Undeterred, Jill has completed the event 20 times and received an engraved china plate in recognition of her efforts.

She has been on the podium previously for being the first woman home, finishing in under six hours.

Jill also runs the Liverpool Marathon in October and rounds off her year’s events with Ulverston’s 10km Christmas Pudding run.

If you don’t know Jill personally, the chances are you will have seen her running around Barrow and the surrounding villages.

She trains all year but begins to increase her mileage in the new year.

“I always start to step it up by doing at least one decent, long run, before the end of the year. Then I build it up for 16 weeks,” she said.

Before retiring Jill was head of radiation, physics and shielding at the shipyard and is a member with team SEDDASA, from the naval architects department.

When asked if she’s inspired anybody by her endeavours she responded: “I’d like to think so.

“I have an extremely good, close friend who was a far better runner than I was and has run the marathon with me. She developed cancer and she’s had a struggle getting back. But she comes out with me now, and she’s a little bit nervous about pushing herself, but I like to think she and I enjoy getting out in the countryside and building her confidence.”

Have your say

Admire you Jill,wish you well on the day.

Posted by Jean Storey on 25 March 2013 at 20:58

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