To enter the Simplyhealth Great Newham London Run 10k, visit greatrun.org/Newham
Romford lifeguard Caroline Aylott, 57, will be celebrating with her new found love of running, as she prepares for the Simplyhealth Great Newham London Run this July.
In February 2007, Caroline was left fighting for her life with pneumonia and septicaemia. But, she battled through and now wants to encourage others to make the most of their health and get into running.
Waking from a coma and vowing to change her life for the better, she took up swimming, and now works as a lifeguard at Central Park Leisure Centre. She is also the Chief Instructor at Romford Lifesaving Club.
Unfortunately, the legacy of her ordeal resurfaced last year when a bout of breathing difficulties and MRI scan revealed pleural thickening on the lungs. The issue, due to scarring from being on life support, left her with only 80% of her lungs functioning.
“It upset me at the time, I'd just turned 57. I thought, I'm going to do something about this – I'm going to make the best of the lungs that I've got,” said Caroline.
She decided to take on the Simplyhealth Great Newham London Run, on July 2 at the London Stadium.
“Running's the one thing I always said I'd never be able to do. I started running in May, going from my house to the corner, and now I run every day between 3-6 miles,” she said.
Caroline, who was a Games Maker at London 2012, will return to the stadium this summer and cross the same finish line as Olympic and Paralympic legends, alongside 15,000 other runners.
“I'm excited to go back to Newham where I was born and back to the stadium,” said Caroline.
“I worked in the Events Services at London 2012 but never actually went down to the track so I'm really looking forward to running on it. I'm bringing my husband and one of my grown up sons to watch on the day so it'll be great.
The Romford mum has a few words of wisdom for those who think they can't run.
She said, “Every time I run I achieve something. It doesn't matter how old you are.
“When I started I couldn't run to the end of the road. But you can run– running is something available to everybody, even if you think you can't. It's freedom.”