Mara Yamauchi after the finish of the New York Half Marathon, with the Union flag across her shoulders


The marathon runner shares her experiences training for competitive sports

Published: 21 March 2016


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Olympic athlete and public speaker Mara Yamauchi shares her experiences training for competitive sports and offers an insight into what it takes to become a world-class long distance runner.

Studying PPE at St. Anne’s College, Mara started her career as a diplomat with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and was posted to Tokyo for four years, before returning to her dream of becoming a full-time athlete at the age of 33. Her career highlights include winning the bronze medal in the 2006 Melbourne Commonwealth Games 10,000m, winning the 2008 Osaka Ladies’ Marathon, finishing runner-up in the 2009 London Marathon, and finishing sixth at the 2008 Beijing Olympics (the joint best performance ever by a British woman in the Olympic marathon).

For this podcast interview, Mara talks about her career in sport and more recently as a coach and public speaker. Mara has an impressive athletic record as the UK’s second fastest female marathon runner of all time and has worked with BBC Sport, British Athletics, and the Dame Kelly Holmes Trust.


Interviewer: Paull Hammond-Davies
Music: Setuniman from