I took baby steps to train for marathon

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TRAINING for a marathon is hard enough without accusations of being a baby snatcher.

But that’s what 29-year-old Rebecca Carter has faced as she balances parenting with a rigorous training regime.

The East Craigs teacher only gave birth last year, but is using the motivation of her late grandmother’s memory – and a desire to get fit – to take part in May’s Edinburgh Marathon.

And the only way she has been able to keep up daily training sessions is by charging around the north-west of the city with 11-month old Jamie in a specially designed buggy.

It has led to a range of reactions, from puzzled expressions to cries of concern for the welfare of her child.

But there are no health risks involved in the reinforced pram – popular among young mothers in the US – and Jamie loves it. “He just adores getting chucked around and having a good look around while we’re out,” she said.

“The buggy comes as a kit so you can either take it on the back of your bike or go jogging with it in front of you.

“I’m not really sure what some people think I’m doing when they give me funny looks.

“I’ve even had someone shouting on me to stop because there was a baby in the buggy.

“I think some people worry he is getting bumped around but the buggy is specially built so that doesn’t happen.”

The last two months of pregnancy were difficult for the Corstorphine Primary teacher – as the baby was lying on a nerve she was forced to spend most of the time on crutches.

She had always been fond of Macmillan Cancer Support for the care the charity had provided for her gran Joyce Ewart, who lost her battle with the disease in 2004.

“They were just fantastic, not just for my gran but for all of us as well,” she said.

“They helped her stay in her home when she was ill and assisted at the hospice too.

“The farthest I’d ever run was 5k. I started running after giving birth then after a few drinks at New Year I signed up for the marathon.”

The maximum distance she covers with the buggy is six miles, taking on the lengthier stints alone.

And it has turned out to be a valuable coaching mechanism.

“Training for the marathon, you build up the distances so the longest I’m going to do before it is 22 miles.

“But when you don’t have the buggy with you, you feel like you’re absolutely flying, especially up hills.”

To donate to Mrs Carter’s fundraising attempts visit www.justgiving.com/bexcarter.