GB transplant athlete hopes for summer success after 45th parkrun completed at Swaffham
Having never run before 2011, a woman who underwent a heart transplant has recently completed her 45th parkrun.
Tricia Mandall, 67, finished her latest run in a time of 40:34 on the last Saturday of March in Swaffham.
Such form is just what she will need ahead of the British Transplant Games in Newport this July.
After her fourth British games, Tricia will then set her sights on the Transplant Sport World Games, which are being held in Newcastle in August.
For someone who had never competed in a race before having a heart transplant in December 2011, it has been quite a journey.
“Parkruns have enabled me to take part in regular organised running which is part of keeping fit to protect my new heart”, Mrs Mandall said.
“Prior to my transplant I was unable to do anything physical, but I now want to protect this wonderful gift as much as possible”.
The British Transplant Games are expected to attract more than 850 transplant athletes to Wales for what will be the 42nd year of the event.
As for the World Transplant Games, athletes will be descending on Tyneside venues such as the Gateshead International Stadium from 17-24 August.
Speaking about representing Team GB, Mrs Mandall said: “Clearly it is a great honour to be part of the GB team but more importantly it is the opportunity to show that transplantation works.
“I can’t wait to join the world-wide family and showcase that organ donation works”.
She previously recorded her personal best time for the Lynn parkrun in January 2017 in what were slippery conditions at the time.
“I am pleased to be able to take part in parkruns. My current time on grass is slightly slower than road and track runs,” Mrs Mandall added.
For someone who is clearly excelling in the sport, it is slightly surprising to hear that Mrs Mandall does not consider herself in love with running.
Whether she loves it or not, she is proving an excellent role-model for those in West Norfolk.