Rebecca is ready to run for the trees – literally
Cllr Hossack training in Camden
Tory councillor set to take on New York marathon to raise £28k for trees in Camden
REBECCA Hossack is no Denise Lewis. She hated sports at school.
In middle age she discovered running to stave off the inevitable gravitational pull.
Five years later, she is getting ready to run the 26-mile New York Marathon alongside professional athletes.
The first time she attempted to run she
lasted two minutes and gave up.
“I got all red and
flustered and couldn’t go on. I thought I was going to die,” she said. Now, she runs five times a week.
Last Sunday she did 16 miles around Regent’s Park. And it’s all for a good cause.
The Conservative councillor, 52, who owns two central London galleries, hopes to raise £28,000 to plant 80 trees for Camden’s streets through, Street Tree, a charity that works with local authorities to make London green.
Bit by bit, Cllr Hossack has built up her stamina to the point where she can keep
jogging for more than two-and-a-half hours.
Training for the marathon began during the bitter winter days of February this year.
By the spring, the buds appeared and “by summer,” she said, “the flowers are in full bloom and then it’s autumn with the chestnuts underfoot.”
She invites any interested parties to get in touch with her so she can show people the secret tracks around the park.
She said: “Imagine if everyone in Camden met up one morning and jogged together.”
Cllr Hossack, who is paying for the flight herself, said her air travel will be offset by the number of trees that will be planted.
But she says there is a footprint each person leaves behind and it is not always carbon: “Trees have a civilising effect on our society. They lift your heart and your spirit.
“When I’m dead they’ll be two lovely flowering pear trees and a young person will walk past on a spring morning and the trees will give them a glimmering moment of happiness.”
She added: “It’s so important in our increasingly consumerist world that we can have experiences where we do not have to spend money.”
A healthy runner should start their day with a big bowl of
She said: “What is great about the exercise I have been doing is that you can eat twice as much as you normally eat.”
During the week she will eat meat or fish three times a week but her
staple is spaghetti.
Contrary to every
contemporary guideline on healthy eating, she does not eat vegetables.
“I don’t really like vegetables or fruit and I eat loads of cake,” said Cllr Hossack. |
Pleased with her new-found appetite she is also impressed with her own ability.
Watching her football team Arsenal play she says feels as if “I almost I could be out there with them”.
In fact when she completes her challenge and the trees are planted she promises to leapfrog over the terraces and do a victory lap on the hallowed turf.
She said: “If I can do it anyone can.”