Working It: News, views and local fitness heroes

On this month's fitness news list: a Cambridge dad and a granny of four both take on epic challenges and a new cancer and wellness salon opens in Barton

Marathon Nan: Back in the Race!

You may remember that our columnist Jude Clarke was training to run her first ever marathon this year in London, initially in April but then, as the Covid-19 pandemic took hold, on the rescheduled date of October 4.

With that date now having been confirmed for elite runners only in London itself, Virgin Money London Marathon have repurposed the event for all other entrants as a "virtual" race.

Jude explains: "Although obviously pretty disappointing, it was completely unsurprising when we finally got the announcement that the London event was off for non-elite runners. The good news, though, is that if you take part in the virtual event, which just involves running those all-important 26.2 miles in 24 hours on October 4, then you still qualify for an authentic London Marathon medal. So I'm in!

"To try and make up for missing the incredible London crowd and atmosphere I've roped in a bunch of brilliant friends and family members, as well as colleagues from Alzheimer's Research UK, the wonderful charity that I work for, and that I am running this race to fundraise for.

So on every last painful step of my run around Cambridge I will be accompanied by one or more other runner: having a good old catch up with colleagues or chatting about whatever we can think of to take the mind off my pain with nieces, grandkids, in-laws and friends. . .

So if you see a middle-aged woman in orange leggings (see Alzheimer's Research UK's Share The Orange campaign for the reason behind this ‘interesting’ fashion choice) plodding her way around the streets of Cambridge, Fulbourn, Cherry Hinton or Great Shelford on October 4, give me a wave, a beep of the horn or a cheer to keep me going. It may not be The London Marathon as I'd originally envisaged running it, but in this unprecedented year where everything has been turned on its head, I'm going to do everything I can to still make the finish line, 2020-style."

You can sponsor Jude and help raise money for vital dementia research at Find out more about the work of Alzheimer's Research UK at

On Retreat

Burwash Manor is now home to The Retreats – a beauty, cancer and wellness salon – run by Anastasia Jolley and her team of professionals. Anastasia, a former business development manager, is passionate about health, fitness and beauty, having worked in the industry since 2013.

She decided to embark on extensive advance training to develop a cancer and wellness salon, having been touched numerous times by cancer, in particular losing her father-in-law to the disease. “I’ve seen first-hand the pain it causes,” she explains. “So I decided I wanted to offer therapy treatments for cancer patients and anyone on long-term medications for a variety of conditions.”

The Retreats, housed in an old granary building - which has undergone extensive renovations - boasts four private treatment rooms, a double manicure and pedicure area (which is socially distanced and safe), and a retail shop. It’s a Germaine De Cappucini product house, offering Lycon wax, Gel colour nails, tinting, lash lifts, advanced facials, massages, hand and foot therapy, Baobab Body Ritual treatments, reflexology, semi-permanent make up, Microblading and Areola Tattooing for breast cancer clients.

The Retreats is at Burwash Manor, Barton. See a full list of treatments at

Working It

TALA activewear (42220185)
TALA activewear (42220185)

If you’re looking to change up your workout wardrobe, we think these burgundy beauties by sustainable fashion brand TALA fit the bill! Aside from the warm autumnal hue of these matching combos, we love the fact TALA’s product range is ethically-produced, affordable and flattering (the core collection is available in sizes UK 4 to 20).

Iris bra, £29, Zinnia leggings, £40, Aster crop top, £35, all in burgundy, at

Step Back in Time

Walking Cambridge(42220191)
Walking Cambridge(42220191)

Strap on some sturdy boots and discover 1,000 years of history on eight fascinating strolls around our fair city, in Andrew Kershman’s new book, Walking Cambridge.

Out October 9, the handbag (or manbag) sized tome takes the reader along pavements embedded with flowers, through ancient college cloisters and along tree-lined avenues to reveal Cambridge’s most famous sights, as well as its hidden gems.

Discover how John Hodson rose from a college servant to become a rich man, only to lose it all in a famous scandal, find a monument erected by the deposed prince of Siam in memory of his faithful pooch, and discover the origins of the term ‘Hobson’s choice’.

Be captivated as Kershman shares surprising tales, brings long-forgotten voices to life – and shares tips on where to refuel with a seasonal gingerbread latte or a pint of the black stuff!

Walking Cambridge, £11.99, at

Daring Dad

Chris Howard (42220179)
Chris Howard (42220179)

Cambridge builder Chris Howard is no stranger to a challenge, having previously rowed the Atlantic conquered long-distance bike rides and gruelling marathons. But the dad-of-three is currently in the midst of one of his toughest challenges yet- a year-long adventure, walking the entire 11,000-mile length of Britain’s mainland coast, clockwise, to raise money for BBC Children In Need.

Chris is relying on the kindness of strangers, camping along the way, or accepting offers of shelter, as well as food and drink donations (you can buy him a meal or a coffee online, though his website).

“I’ve always been fit and active and into endurance challenges but I just wanted to do something big to really push my physical and mental limits,” Chris explains. “And to find out what I’m actually capable of.”

Chris, who set off in July from Heacham in Norfolk, bidding goodbye to his wife and three young daughters, is blogging throughout his adventure.

You can connect with him and donate via his website

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