Major Jacquie Barlow has succeeded in setting a new Guinness World Record for the most half marathons completed on consecutive days but now awaits official confirmation for holding the title.
Jacquie, from Catterick Garrison, has been running for the charity which helped her survive brain cancer ten years ago.
Macmillan Cancer Support backed her as she battled a vicious brain tumour and had to spend lengthy periods in intensive care. Her sister also has terminal cancer.
After battling through howling blizzards and driving rain since she started the challenge to beat the record on January 1, Jacquie has smashed her original target of 61 and finished with 80 half marathons on Sunday, March 21, completing a whopping 1,054 miles.
Jacquie, 45, has done much of her running around Catterick Garrison and admits it has been hard going at times, particularly when the weather threw snow, howling gales and rain at her. She said; "I have two drivers in terms of motivation. I had a brain tumour in 2011 and it was a bit scary at the time and secondly my sister who has also got cancer.”
Jacquie was diagnosed with a large brain tumour on her cerebellum and spinal cord, which had to be operated on immediately. She said; “Times were hard but the support both me and my family received from Macmillan Cancer Support was invaluable.” Jacquie explained that Macmillan Cancer Support provided her and the family with the physical and mental support they all needed in order to get by. The charity has also supported her sister in her own battle and that Jacquie says; “Is also the reason I wanted to support Macmillan Cancer.”
Commenting on how she came up with the idea of consecutive half marathons, Jacquie said; “I had the idea about what I could do that would make a difference, and something that would be quite a challenge. I was looking on the Guinness World Record (GWR) website and noticed there wasn’t a record for a female - consecutive ‘unofficial’ half-marathons. So, I went down the line of approaching GWR to take on the challenge. It took quite a while. I applied in January 2020, and the approval came through in May.”
The GWR set the marker that she needed to complete 60 half marathons in order to hold the record and so the challenge was on.
Jacquie is used to breaking new ground. Her current role as Anzio Company Commander, part of 2 Infantry Training Battalion at the Infantry Training Centre in Catterick sees her in the vanguard of females to be selected to serve in Catterick after the announcement to open all roles to women, enabling female officers and soldiers to undertake close combat roles alongside men in the special forces, infantry and the Armoured Corps.
The Army would like to congratulation Jacquie on her phenomenal record-breaking feat.