Pippa Middleton has spoken for the first time about running her first full marathon. Writing exclusively for HELLO! magazine, Pippa explained why she wanted to run the gruelling 42km course in Kenya to complete Tusk Trust's Safaricom Marathon.
See this week's issue of HELLO! magazine out now for the full details.
"I decided that a marathon was a 'life box' that needed ticking and this year was my time – despite it being one of the toughest in the world, with temperatures rising to more than 30ºC, at an altitude of 5,550ft and with the possibility of bumping into lions or rhinos," she wrote.
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"I was exhausted. My eyes welled up with tears," wrote Pippa of finishing the marathon
"I'd read stories about Tusk Trust's Safaricom Marathon and seen the pictures and felt that my debut simply had to be running through the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, through the raw beauty of the savannah plains and alongside the majestic animals," she added.
The keen athlete adopted a rigorous training schedule unlike anything she had ever done before to prepare her for the race. And, despite nerves she said she was overcome with emotion at the starting line.
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"A wave of emotion hit me as I wrestled in the crowd, trying to keep my place and not get mown down," she revealed. "Finally the time had come. All the work, training, effort and thrill of being here, part of something so tough yet so evocative and meaningful. I simply had to finish."
However, overcome with exhaustion at the half-way point she felt unable to continue, until she thought of the children the charity was helping.
She eventually finished the race in three hours, 56 minutes – placing her 30th overall out of the 200 competitors. She was the first white female to complete the full marathon and finished seventh female overall.
"I was exhausted. My eyes welled up with tears," she wrote. "Could I really manage this? I turned right and thought of the schoolchildren, the rhinos, elephants and lions, the incredible Tusk projects – the reason I was doing this. It was tough – tougher than anything I’d been faced with before and required every inch of my energy, stamina and stubbornness."
To read more of Pippa's article, and to see photos of her marathon challenge, pick up the latest edition of HELLO! magazine, on sale now.