Chatteris runner wins over-65 category at Great Eastern Run marred by death of two runners

A RUNNER from Chatteris is celebrating after winning her category of the Great Eastern Run, at the age of 68.

Lavinia Seward, from March Athletics Club, completed the 13.1 mile race in two hours and seven minutes, the fastest time in the over-65 category.

Fellow club member Gena Jackman, 73, was also triumphant winning the over-70 category with a time of two hours and twelve minutes.

Lavinia, who has run marathons in London, New York, Amsterdam and Berlin, said she was delighted at her success.

She said: “I wasn’t sure I was going to do it, so I’m very pleased. I only started running about six years ago.

“Let’s face it I’m no spring chicken, so I took my training fairly slowly over five or six months.”

Lavinia is now planning her next marathon, and aims to do the Great Wall of China run in 2012.

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She said: “You get to a certain age and you think ‘if you don’t do it now then you never will.’ My daughter was the turning point for me, when she ran the London marathon.

“I hadn’t run for 40 years, since school, and I just thought I’d go for it. Once you get going you get addicted.”

Lavinia and Gena’s victories capped off a successful day for Fenland runners, in which teenager Joe Bradshaw also finished second in the 4km fun run.

Lavinia said: “I think the club are going places. Things are going well for March at the moment and we would like more members.”

More than 4,000 people took part in the Perkins Great Eastern Run on Sunday.

The event was sadly overshadowed by the deaths of two runners, from Bushfield Joggers and Werrington Joggers running clubs.

One competitor died after collapsing during the race and the second man died after completing the run.