Dawn Nisbet became a viral sensation when she was photographed finishing last in a local 5K running event. Fast forward two years and she’s now an inspirational figure in her local running community and last year took on her first half marathon at the Simplyhealth Great Manchester Run.

Now she has shared her tips on how to ace your first half marathon:


Don’t underestimate the importance of a good training plan.


Locate the nearest toilet to the start line and bring your own toilet roll. My running belt always has some folded up loo roll in it for ‘emergencies’.


There are photographers along the route, so if you spot a camera – SMILE. Also, practice a non-gurning ‘cry-face’ – any photographic evidence of your epic run should not be a worthy entry into You’ve Been Framed.


Never wear new kit on a big run – break it in beforehand.  We’ve all had blisters from new shoes, but chafing from a new running bra… no one should experience that!


You might cry along the way.


There will be people running in fancy dress.  Be prepared to be overtaken by a rhinoceros, a tree, a panda pushing a wheelbarrow, a slice of pizza (no I wasn’t hallucinating), a fairy or someone carrying a fridge – accept them overtaking you with good grace and a smile – after all it’s about having fun!


Get ready for the finish line – nothing can prepare you for the emotion and realisation of what you have achieved, or the cheers of the crowds – crowds of people who don’t know you but cheer you on for the epic-ness of what you just did.

Do something to show them what you’re made of and enter the Simplyhealth Great Manchester Run