BY CALUM FRASER
Many would view running a marathon as the ultimate test.
But globe-trotting Lambeth lass Jessica Standley is trying to go one – or rather nine – better by completing a total of 10.
The specialist abuse lawyer, who once said she had no interest in running, is three quarters of the way through a challenge to complete 10 marathons in 10 different countries.
Jessica, who lives in Streatham Hill, said: “I decided I wanted to run a marathon before I was 30.
“I ran the New York marathon in November 2015, seven days before my 30th.
“Having crossed the finish line saying I would never run another marathon, I’m not sure how the challenge then became 10 marathons in 10 countries.
“But those that know me will know that I can be very stubborn and once I have decided to do something I will usually stick to it.”
Jessica was inspired by watching a friend complete the London Marathon and then entered a half marathon in 2012. She has built her stamina up from there.
So far she has completed the New York marathon in 2015, Dublin in 2016, Berlin and Florence in 2018 and Barcelona and Vienna this year.
But she has been stopped in her tracks with a stress fracture caused by running on an already painful leg.
This has left her on crutches and walking in an aircast boot for two-and-a-half weeks.
She has used physiotherapy and altered her diet to aid her recovery.
The 32-year-old plans to be running again in mid-July and to be race fit for the Budapest marathon in October.
She said: “Through my work as a specialist abuse lawyer I have seen how the work of charities Wheelpower and National Association of People Abused in Childhood (NAPAC) have helped people.
“The work they both do supporting individuals is incredible. I have seen the difference both charities have made to people’s lives and the more I learn about each charity the more determined I become to reach my target.
“Knowing that I am fundraising for them keeps me running.”
She has raised more than £7,000 of the £10,000 target she hopes to reach.
Jessica, who has worked at city-centre firm Slater and Gordon Lawyers for eight years, says training is the hardest part.
She added: “Fitting it [training] around everything is tough. Marathon training requires dedication, motivation and determination – I even run to and from work sometimes but it is incredibly rewarding to get to the finish line.”
To support Jessica go to www.virginmoneygiving.com/jessicastandley10marathons10countries