• Jill Thompson, 35, from Northumberland, reached 22st 9lb at her highest weight
• Decided to change her lifestyle and get in shape to help keep up with her child
• Joined a local running club and now enjoys chasing after her daughter at parkrun
• From getting worn out going up stairs, Jill lost an incredible 12 stone and is now set to take on her biggest fitness challenge yet with her first ultra-marathon – Heineken Race to the Castle
“I feel like a different person following my weight loss”
Jill Thompson is a 35-year-old office manager from Blyth, Northumberland. The mum-of-one has been on a weight loss mission ever since coming home from the hospital after giving birth to her daughter in July 2013.
Jill set about overhauling her lifestyle by joining Slimming World and increasing her activity levels, so that she could keep up with her daughter as she grew.
“I heard about Slimming World as one of my best friends was a Consultant at the time. I had avoided joining
her group as I was ashamed of myself. I joined online at first then eventually plucked up the courage to swap to attend her group.” Alongside the groups, Jill rode her horse regularly and did competitive street dancing as well as Zumba and Clubbercise classes.
Having reached her target weight, Jill continues to attend the Slimming World groups whilst seeking to helps others who have found themselves in a similar position to achieve their goals. “I now attend group with several friends and many others I know go to other groups in the area, so we share ideas, recipes and leftovers! I have lost a total of 12st with Slimming World.
“Once I had reached my target weight, I looked for something else to challenge myself with. I started couch to 5k with the aim to complete it as I had started many times before. I completed it and had the running bug. I joined my local running club, Blyth RC, and started training with These Girls Can Run and the Monkey Runners. Less than a year later I ran my first 10k.” That same year, Jill ran the Great North Run for the second time – 10 years on from her first time doing it where she walked the course.
Not content with finishing a half marathon, and less than two years from starting her running journey, Jill finished the Manchester marathon.“I feel like a different person following my weight loss. I used to get worn out walking upstairs. Now I’m not fazed by the prospect of taking on an ultra! I’m already planning on the 100km to be my next challenge!”
“When I crossed the finish line, I was ecstatic. I’d spent the day getting to know a fabulous new friend and we got across the finish line accomplishing what I set out to accomplish and getting her the marathon PB she desperately wanted!” Jill’s motivation for all that she has achieved – initially the weight loss and more recently the fitness challenges – has always been with her daughter in mind.
“I wanted to be able to run after my daughter when she grew. I took the running hit to the extreme and now enjoy running around after my six-year-old at parkrun on a regular basis!”
In June, Jill will be taking part in Heineken Race to the Castle, where participants walk, jog or run an epic trail across stretching moorland, winding rivers and through ancient woodlands to reach the magnificent Bamburgh Castle.
“I had no intention of running an ultra but when I caught up with my friends, I’d happened to see this run advertised and the words ‘it’s only an extra 10k’ were flying out my mouth. Two days later we’d both signed up and began roping in others that would like to take on the challenge!
Bacon and mushroom bloomer
Chocolate, crisps and fruit
Spicy butternut or pumpkin squash soup or a veggie packed homemade turkey broth
Comfort food made from scratch like lasagne, chilli loaded wedges or risotto. No jar sauces or frozen ready meals!
Boiled eggs, lean cooked meats, blueberries, melon, carrots, baby plum tomatoes, celery
Jill is currently running three times a week, but 16 weeks out from the big day will increase to four times a week.
Jill is taking part in the Heineken Race to the Castle ultra-marathon on 6-7 June 2020. The route passes many of the local historical landmarks, including the finish at Bamburgh Castle. www.racetothecastle.com
By Jessica Addington