Jo takes 50 marathon challenge in her stride

Jo Earlam from Tipton St john, who is running the New York marathon next month to raise money for 10

Jo Earlam from Tipton St john, who is running the New York marathon next month to raise money for 10 charities, seen here after completing her first marathon in London in 2005 - Credit: Archant

The finish line is in sight for a long-distance runner who is set to clock up her 50th marathon just after a milestone birthday.

Marathon runner Jo Earlam in Cheddar

Marathon runner Jo Earlam in Cheddar - Credit: Archant

Residents thought Jo Earlam was barmy when she announced her ‘50 at 50’ challenge - but she is now a familiar face running around her home village of Tipton St John.

She is running for dementia charity Brace and getting strength thinking of her father, who has a vascular form of the condition.

“It’s been a really full-on challenge and now the end is actually in sight,” said the 49-year-old.

“When it’s hard, I think about my dad and people like him who would swap places with me any day.”

Jo is running the Brighton and North Dorset marathons just before her 50th birthday and Edinburgh’s three days after on May 31, when she will be joined by friends from Sidmouth Running Club.

She said it will be a nice conclusion to the challenge - and hopes it will make her the youngest and fastest in her new age bracket.

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Her best time was four hours and five minutes, in London in 2012, but each route is different and brings its own challenges.

The former Herald reporter said a lot of training is required to take on just one marathon.

Running a 26-mile race – and a few extra long ‘ultra’ marathons – on average once every month for the last three years means she has kept up her fitness.

“People have been really generous,” added Jo. “The way they have responded is really great.”

Jo has also trained as a dementia champion.

? To read more about her running escapades or to sponsor Jo, visit

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