A Bangor business woman, mother and foster carer can now add marathon runner to her many credentials after crossing the finish line in a European half-marathon.
Julia Jordan from Ballyholme, completed the Barcelona marathon on January 30, raising funds for Children in Crossfire.
Julia said: “Myself and two friends went out running every week. To begin with I could only run for a minute and would have to walk the rest. We first heard about the marathon in September, we saw it as an excuse for a long weekend away.
“Running Crazy estimated that it would cost £600 to take part in the run, I already had worked out I could do it for half the price.”
She opted to use the trip to raise funds for the charity Children in Crossfire and has raised £400 through sponsorship from friends and family.
Julia and her husband Darren have two teenage sons, a long term foster child and run their business, Jordan Bends, from home so training had to be fitted in around other commitments — including fostering a new born baby in the run up to Christmas.
“I would train three nights a week either out running or going to the gym. My friends and I would meet up every Wednesday and go out running together.
“Afterwards we would take it in turns to make dinner and a have a few glasses of wine, it was more a sociable evening than a training session,” she laughed.
She said: “If people could’ve seen me running the carriageway with a pram, they would have thought I was crazy. The baby came to stay with us when she was a day old. For the three weeks it was a wonderful experience.”
The 21k run began at Arc De Triumph in Barcelona city, where 8000 people aimed to cross the finish line in the two and a half hour time period.
Talking about the experience Julia beams: “We could not believe how many people were there. The weather was amazing and the atmosphere was buzzing.
“We knew we were up against some tough competition; after an hour people were running to the finish line. I made it two minutes before the end time. It was fantastic.”