10K is fun in a good cause, says Olympics star

LIFE has become a little bit quieter for Gemma Gibbons since she won a silver medal at the London Olympics - but not much.

Loading Comments
Share
Print
Gemma Gibbons, who is an offcial starter for the 10K, lost her mum to cancer
Gemma Gibbons, who is an offcial starter for the 10K, lost her mum to cancer

Nursing a broken wrist, training for the World Championships and planning her wedding are all keeping the 26-year-old fairly busy.

"It was crazy for a while, really exciting, and in those first few days after I won the medal, I just seemed to go from live TV show to magazine to newspaper – it was unbelievable," says the woman who won Britain's first judo Olympic medal for 12 years.

"It has died down a bit, but then I will be caught out by someone stopping me in the street and asking: 'Aren't you Gemma the judo girl?'

"That's still really weird."

Gemma is famous not just for her medal success against the odds, but for her touching tribute to her mum Jeanette, who died when Gemma was 17.

Her mouthed 'I love you, mum,' as she realised the medal was hers became a memorable London 2012 moment.

Jeanette Gibbons died of leukemia when she was 49, just as her daughter was starting to break into international competition.

Gemma has always attributed her success to her mum's unstinting support, coming along to every training session and competition along the way.

"I got into judo because my mum took me along when I was six," recalls Gemma.

"I think she wanted me to get rid of some of my energy. I hated losing, so it just started from there."

Now Gemma is delighted to be inspiring a new generation of young athletes, particularly girls, who no longer see judo as simply a sport for the boys.

"If what I have achieved encourages girls to give it a go, that's fantastic," says Gemma, who lives in Edinburgh with her fiance and fellow judo player Euan Burton.

"Events like the women's 10K in Glasgow are great because they inspire people to just go for it. You don't have to train for a year or aim for the Olympics – the women's 10K is about getting out there with your friends and having some fun and feeling great.

"And it doesn't matter why you are doing it. As soon as you cross the finish line you get that amazing feeling of achievement."

Gemma is encouraging runners to raise funds for Cancer Research UK, one of the many good causes that benefit from the women's 10K year.

"I have known about the great work the charity does all my life, during my mum's illness, and even when I was younger," she says. "But in the last six months, I have understood a lot more about why research into this disease is so important."

Gemma is hoping to be able to chat to the runners on the day and is looking forward to soaking up the atmosphere.

"I have heard a lot about the event so I can't wait to get involved," she says. "I hope I can reassure some of the runners and calm their nerves. The important thing is to enjoy the day."

As her wrist heals – she broke it while using weights in a training session – Gemma is planning next month's wedding.

But she has already set her sights on returning to competition for the World Championships in August and the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow next year.

"I'll be going for gold," she says, adding with a laugh: "For England of course, as I'm originally from London.

"Euan is coaching for Scotland. So that should be an interesting time in our house."

Helen Jackson, Cancer Research UK's head of sports, says: "We are thrilled to have Gemma, who is such an inspiring Olympian, supporting Cancer Research UK by starting the Bupa Great Women's 10K.

"We hope her involvement will inspire others to sign up for this very special run and raise money for Cancer Research UK. All the money raised will help fund the lifesaving work of our scientists.

"Cancer Research UK spends more than £22million a year in Glasgow on some of the UK's leading scientific and clinical research, work that would not be possible without the public's very generous support."

n The Evening Times is media partner of the Bupa Great Women's 10K. Enter online at: www.greatrun.org/womens10k

It costs £25 including a T-shirt, medal, finisher's pack and accurate chip timing.

one of the most famous images of last year's London Olympics was a young judo star, minutes after clinching the silver medal, looking up to the skies and mouthing 'I love you, mum' in tribute for the support and inspiration given to her before her mother died from cancer. Now Gemma Gibbons is hoping to inspire Glasgow's mums, grans, sisters, aunts and friends to reach their own personal goals at the Bupa Great Women's 10K on May 12. The 26-year-old is one of the official race starters, appearing in support of Cancer Research UK and she is delighted to be part of the biggest all-female road race in the country. She talks to ANN FOTHERINGHAM

n THE Women's 10K Pasta Party is back.

Organised by Glasgow Running Network and Di Maggio's, it is on May 7, starting in Royal Exchange Square.

After a short run through the city centre, it will finish at Di Maggio's Theatreland, in West Nile Street, where each runner will receive a plate of pasta, soft drink and dessert.

The night will also include massage, entertainment and prizes.

To take part, call 08000 270 470 or 0141 287 3831. It costs £11, which includes a T-shirt, or £9 for Running Network and Course members.

Steph Forsyth, 23, is running her first 10K. This week, the public relations account executive learns an important lesson.

Last week I had a couple of bad training sessions. I started too quickly and struggled to complete the distance I was aiming for, which was frustrating.

For my next training session I decided to take it easy and set off at a much steadier pace.

At first, I felt silly but I ended up really enjoying the session and not struggle. I didn't stop to walk once and managed to complete a 6.5K jog in 40 minutes, sustaining a pace of just over six minutes per kilometre – faster than my previous sessions and much further.

I need to remember to stick to my 'jog' pace and not let my competitive side out on race day.

In early training sessions I found myself pushing to pass other runners, people and even dogs but I know I just need to enjoy the run and soak up the atmosphere, not push myself to the limit and end up running out of steam too early.

This easy plan should take you from being a complete novice to comfortably completing the 10K in 10 weeks.

Monday: Jog for 20 minutes.

Tuesday: Jog for 15 minutes.

Wednesday: Jog for 40 minutes.

Thursday: Rest.

Friday: Jog for 30 minutes.

Saturday: Rest.

Sunday: 60 minutes of walking/jogging.

Block list

Commenting & Moderation

We moderate all comments on Evening Times on either a pre-moderated or post-moderated basis. If you're a relatively new user then your comments will be reviewed before publication and if we know you well and trust you then your comments will be subject to moderation only if other users or the moderators believe you've broken the rules

Moderation is undertaken full-time 9am-6pm on weekdays, and on a part-time basis outwith those hours. Please be patient if your posts are not approved instantly.

122260

Have you got a story?

Contact the news desk on 0141 302 6520 or email news@eveningtimes.co.uk
Games news:

Putting the world to rights

Gail's Gab

Well done John Barrowman for redefining the Glasgow kiss at the opening ceremony.

Times Out

Entertainment

Lifestyle

TV Advert
Cat’s Eyes on Glasgow

Cat’s Eyes on Glasgow

Cat Cubie’s job is to find and share with you the fabulous things the city has to offer, from gigs to gastro.

Janice Bell

Janice Bell

You Couldn't Make This Up

Cold blooded approach to enjoy Saturday night fever

Michelle McManus

Michelle McManus

Columnist Michelle McManus is Sussed in the City, and loves to chat about anything and everything.