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22 November 2023   |   Running   |   


Sports Tours International and The Running Channel joined forces to offer an unforgettable experience for our community—sending them on a journey of a lifetime to the 2024 TCS New York Marathon! Our competition winner, Debra Thomas is still in disbelief that she’ll be taking to the start line next of this World Marathon Major. We had the privilege of sitting down with Debra to learn more about her running journey and understand what she anticipates most about running the Big Apple’s marathon.

Tell us a bit about your running journey?

In January 2021, I was looking for a new challenge and hobby. That’s when I decided to take on a charity challenge: running 100 miles in a month. As I progressed through the challenge, I discovered a genuine passion for running. After successfully completing it, I set my sights on a half marathon a few months later, and from there, I never looked back. I’ve since participated in park runs, 10ks, half marathons and even a full marathon. What I love most about running is the mental benefits and the confidence it instils.

How do you feel about being the winner of The Running Channel x Sports Tours competition?

I’m still in disbelief! The Running Channel and its community hold a very special place in my heart.

Have you previously completed a marathon?

Absolutely! I completed my first marathon earlier this year in April – The Great Welsh Marathon, supporting The Welsh Air Ambulance. While the training and distance were challenging, crossing the finish line brought a huge sense of accomplishment. I can’t wait for my next marathon experience.

How are you going to prepare for the New York Marathon?

Hill training! Given the New York Marathon’s course with its inclines and bridges, I’ll be prioritising hill training in my preparation to strengthen my legs.

What aspect of the NYC Marathon are you particularly looking forward to?

Undoubtedly, the crowds! Experiencing the energy of the NYC Marathon crowds and the atmosphere is something I can’t wait to experience. Running through neighbourhoods like Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan, and the Bronx is a dream come true, especially since it will be my first time in both New York City and the United States. Oh, and the therapy dogs at the start line – that’s a bonus I can’t wait for!

Was participating in the New York Marathon ever a part of your running goals before now?

Absolutely! The New York Marathon has always been on my running bucket list. I’ve also wanted to participate in an Abbott World Marathon Major race and New York was a dream. I never thought it would happen so soon, but thanks to Sports Tours and The Running Channel, I’m living this dream much earlier than I could have imagined.

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