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With a couple of races already under their belts this year, we caught up with aat Ambassadors Gemma, Martin, Maddie and Lee to find out what their plans are for 2019…

aat Ambassador Gemma is one of our regular registration volunteers who “likes nothing better than planning and executing new routes around the beautiful Surrey countryside.” If you’ve ever shopped at Fitstuff or taken part in an aat-event, you will definitely have met Gemma.

The Fitstuff G3 Series and Hardassnails were the first trail runs Gemma ever participated in. She considered these to be “massive challenges”, but by overcoming them, Gemma gained the confidence and knowledge she needed to get out on the trails with an OS map and really discover the countryside and the joy of trail running for herself – which obviously we’re delighted to hear! She added: The Mercer Surrey Half Marathon also has a special place in my heart as it was the first half marathon I ran and was the beginning of realising I could run longer distances.

So, fast forward to 2019 and Gemma has signed up to some seriously tough long-distance runs to complete – starting with The Fox on 27 April – which will be the furthest distance she has ever run. When we launched The Fox back in 2016, Gemma remembers thinking whether she would ever be able to complete the full 60km, but this year she will use it as part of her training for Threshold Race to the King – a 53-mile race which she describes as “a terrifying distance”. It will be the longest distance Gemma will have ever completed by 20 miles. Gemma is also registered for the LDWA Punchbowl Marathon, Trionium Leith Hill Half Marathon and Maverick Original Surrey.

aat Ambassador Martin considers himself to be more of a “trail runner”. Despite this, he is also running the The Mercer Surrey Half Marathon on 10 March and is tempted by the new Guildford 10k on 13 October. The Fitstuff G3 Series is also one of Martin’s favourite aat-events: He enjoys the challenging conditions offered by the notoriously tough routes, and being held right at the start of the year helps motivate him to get moving right away after – like most of us –  enjoying an indulgent Christmas. Martin takes part in the series almost every year, and always volunteers to arrive a bit earlier to help out in the car parking team. He has taken part in the 10km and 15km races this year, and is looking forward to the final 15km run on 16 February and Hardassnails on 3 July.

Like Martin and Gemma, Maddie also regularly volunteers at the Fitstuff G3 Series and Hardassnails. If you’re into road running, you’ll certainly see Maddie sporting her Aldershot, Farnham and District club vest at aat’s start lines. Maddie – who is currently training to improve her 5km and 10km times – will be taking part in all of aat’s road runs in 2019. She said: “They are great routes, I couldn’t miss out on them!”.

Maddie’s goal this year is to beat her parkrun PB, and to get her 10km PB at the Guildford 10k on 13 October. Maddie – who is always smiling – attended our recent Guildford 10k photoshoot so will feature in some of the event’s promotional material. Her favourite aat-event is “definitely The Hogs Back Road Race” – which she describes as having “a challenging course and always a great atmosphere!”

Lee has also set himself an almighty goal for 2019 – running “a marathon a month”! He is looking forward to participating in The Mercer Surrey Half Marathon his favourite aat-event: The Fox 60km ultramarathon – which he describes as “a great event with a great course and an awesome medal”.

We wish all of our ambassadors the very best of luck for 2019, and hope that their stories inspire you to set yourself a challenge.

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