London Marathon: Mum allowed to defer entry in policy change – BBC

London Marathon: Mum allowed to defer entry in policy change  BBC

By Jonathan Holmes
BBC News

Image source, Faith Geraghty
Image caption,

Ms Geraghty felt the old policy was discriminatory after her son David was born

A mother who has successfully campaigned for the London Marathon to change its rules for postpartum entrants has said she is delighted.

Faith Geraghty, from Pewsey, Wiltshire, gave birth to her son David in January 2021 via C-section.

Under the old rules, she would not have been allowed to keep her championship race entry for October 2021’s race.

The new policy allows for pregnant and postpartum runners to defer entries in the same category for three years.

“When I got the news, it reinvigorated my enthusiasm for training,” she said.

Ms Geraghty had been campaigning for the rules to change for a year.

Announcing the new policy on 21 July, organisers of the London Marathon said it would make it a more “inclusive” race.

Ms Geraghty originally had a race entry for April 2020, which was postponed due to the Covid pandemic.

When she then had her son in January 2021, she was advised that running the race in October might be unsafe because C-section scars can take months to heal.

Image caption,

It could have been unsafe for Ms Geraghty to run so soon after childbirth

Ms Geraghty had entered in the championship category, which means she was able to run the distance in under three hours 14 minutes.

Championship entrants run near the start and chase faster times, free from crowds of other runners.

After having her son, she was instead offered a general entry for 2022 or 2023, but said the downgrading left her “disappointed”.

“I was going to take the general entry because marathon spots are coveted, but it really felt like they were penalising me,” she said.

“My rights were lesser as a new mum than when I was just a regular female runner, it was a penalty for no reason.

“I’m excited to return, but this is not a topic which is talked about enough.

“It’s difficult for people to contemplate going back to running after having children but this shouldn’t be a barrier at all.”

Hugh Brasher, event director of the TCS London Marathon, said: “While we recognise there’s still more work to be done, these changes are an important step forward.”

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