Following breaking the world record (WR) to become the fastest ever woman to run a marathon on each continent in 2013, Fiona wanted to return to South America to improve her time for that leg of the continental challenge.ac1-682x1024
For the WR, Fiona had completed the Volcano Marathon in Chile as the “South American” leg however an accident on the treacherous course resulted in her completing that event in 6 hours.
Incredibly, despite this, her other continent legs had been run is such quick times that overall she had broken the previous WR by some 2 hours.
Determined to run a quicker race in South America and with an elite entry pending for the Great North Run on 7th September, the only race on that continent that would ‘fit in’ to her tight training schedule and not interfere too much with the other planned races was the Rio De Janeiro marathon on 27th July.
Trouble was that it was already the 20th July and race entry for that event closed on 1st June. English is not well spoken in Rio and despite several e mails to the race officials and a few phone calls, all we received back was “Race Full” in broken English & nothing more.
On 23rd July however, we received an e mail from the race organiser – they had looked up Fiona on the internet – realised who she was and were inviting her to join the ladies elite start of the race.
Frantic flights were booked and Fiona arrived in Rio on the Friday for the race on Sunday. She had not specifically trained for this event, nor had she tapered for the race – an essential element for any top runner looking to do well.
Despite all this and some difficult language issues, Fiona completed the Rio marathon in 3 hours 9 minutes taking nearly 3 HOURS off her previous leg time for that continent and thus lowering her own world record by this amount of time.
Fiona came 10th in the race and beat many of the other elite runners – despite the frenzy of last minute booking.
This takes Fiona’s time to run a marathon on all 7 continents to under 24 hours! (23hrs 27 mins actually!)
Fiona has to fit all this in between caring for 400 rescued animals – and she has a knee replacement to cope with.
Fiona has been vegan for 40 years and with the current issues facing the UK regarding obesity and poor diet she shows what can be achieved through graft – rather than privilege or celebrity.
Her charitable foundation ( has already had papers published by the UK Government as evidence in their Women in Sport inquiry.
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