But I’m go­ing to be run­ning for real this time. And that could be the great­est day of my life

MUM WHO PULLED OUT OF TWO MARATHONS FINALLY READY TO TAKE PART Teacher vows to get out of the pub.. and run with a Gary Bar­low cutout

Sunday Mail (UK) - - Opinion - Jenny Mor­ri­son

A woman who talked her best friend into run­ning marathons with her around the world – only to chicken out at the last minute – will run her first long dis­tance race.

Teacher Lorna Lam­bie, 39, per­suaded pal Laura Baird, 41, to join her in run­ning marathons in both Canada and Den­mark.

But she left her friend run­ning alone af­ter swap­ping pound­ing the streets for drinking Prosecco in cafés lin­ing the route.

The pair will run next week­end’s Vir­gin Money Lon­don Marathon and mum- of- two Lorna says she def­i­nitely plans to not only start but fin­ish the race – with a life- sized card­board cutout of Take That’s Gary Bar­low on her back.

Lorna, of Glas­gow, said: “I do feel guilty about ask­ing Laura to sign up for the marathons with me and then pulling out but she is very for­giv­ing.

“It was me who per­suaded Laura to run the last two marathons but this time it’s her idea.

“Be­cause of past his­tory I don’t think she be­lieved I would run this time ei­ther but I’ve ac­tu­ally been out do­ing my train­ing and told so many peo­ple that I’m do­ing it, I can’t drop out.”

En­gi­neer Laura, of Glas­gow, said: “This is the third marathon Lorna and I have signed up for to­gether – but the first where we will both be on the start line.

“I know Lorna has al­ways had the best of in­ten­tions ev­ery time she has talked me in to run­ning with her, so I’ve never held it against her when she’s pulled out.

“And she has al­ways been a won­der­ful ly en­thu­si­as­tic sup­porter.”

Lorna re­cruited Laura to run marathons in Copen­hagen in 2012 and Toronto in 2015 af­ter de­cid­ing to take up run­ning to help her lose weight.

She said: “I did a marathon years ago when I was 11 stone and Laura did a lot of train­ing with me but then I got preg­nant with my son An­drew, eight, and put on a lot of weight.

“When I had my daugh­ter Emma, four, I put on more weight.

“I was a size 24 at my heav­i­est and told Laura I was go­ing to start run­ning again and she was very sup­port­ive. We signed up for the Copen­hagen marathon but I never did any of the train­ing.

“In the end, I took my hus­band Kev and we cheered Laura on – al­though we also went for a nice lunch and then into a café along the route for a wee glass of wine or two.”

Three years later, Lorna talked Laura in to run­ning a marathon in Toronto.

Lorna said: “I was part of an on­line

run­ning group – even though I didn’t run any­more – and the girls in­volved were plan­ning to meet up and run the Toronto marathon, which I thought sounded a great idea.

“I per­suaded Laura to do it with me but again I left her to do it on her own.

“I did start off do­ing a cou­ple of wee train­ing runs but I got hacked off at how hard it was and gave up.”

De­spite pul l ing out of the race, Lorna trav­elled to Canada with her friend and cheered her on – while wear­ing a tar­tan Vik­ing-style hat.

She said: “I’m a very sup­port­ive friend.”

Lorna has no in­ten­tion of pulling out of the Lon­don marathon and is de­lighted to have lost more than five stone since she started train­ing.

She said: “I turn 40 just 10 days af­ter the Lon­don marathon so I de­cided it was now or never to get my run­ning shoes back on. My weight ght had got to the stage where I couldn’t run about in the park rk with my kids any­more. Now I feel like a mil­lion dol­lars.”

Lorna will run with a life­sized cutout of her favourite singer, who in­spired her weight loss.

She said: “I’m a huge Gary ary Bar­low fan – he of­ten talks aboutut the boot­camps he had to do too lose weight. we I de­cided I would tell him he was my in­spi­ra­tion but the first time I met him, all I man­aged to say was, ‘ You smells me lovely’. “I did meet him again and he told me to let him know how I get on.” Lorna, Lor who suf­fered a late mis­car­riage misca sev­eral years ago, is run­ning run­nin the marathon to raise funds for baby char­ity Tommy’s.

CARRY ON Pair in train­ing RUN­NING MATES Laura and Lorna with Gary Bar­low cut-out she plans to take round course Pic­ture Garry F McHarg HEAVEN SCENT With Bar­low

START­ING WINE With hus­band Kev HORN YOU GO Lorna lends sup­port This is me run­ning the Copen­hagen marathon And this is me run­ning the Toronto marathon

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