Meet Marian, the 74-year-old Marathon runner who proves that age is just a number
Marian Arnott-Weeks is a remarkable person. At age 74 she is a keen marathon runner who has completed several marathons around the world. Her journey into marathons began 7 years ago when, after losing her sister and both parents to cancer, she decided to run for charity in their memory. “I started with a 5K run, followed by a 10K, a half marathon, and eventually a full marathon... And then I got the bug!" Marian says. Since then, she has completed marathons in London, Berlin, Boston, Gloucester, Yorkshire, and Somerset.
"I'm hoping to do London again this year and Chicago too," she adds.
So why does Marian run? Well several reasons, to keep fit and active, to stay social, but above all she says it gives her independence. “I live on my own so it's important to me to be independent," she says. "It gets me outside, and it's a social life as well because I meet lots of other people who run or do other exercises. It's had a positive impact all around, I think."
Running has had a positive impact on Marian's life in many ways, but it hasn’t always been smooth sailing. Last year she faced a setback that threatened her ability to run at all. After completing a marathon, she found herself unable to walk due to a knee injury that had been bothering her for years. She had to withdraw from an upcoming marathon. It was then that she realized it was time to seek professional help.
Above: Marian in conversation with her Physiotherapist regarding her injury
"I was looking online for either physiotherapy or a chiropractor and I found AECC UC. There was a very simple online form to fill in, after which I received a telephone call asking me to describe my problem briefly, and I was then given an appointment," she says. "Following that appointment, I was given exercises. It was all very simple, very easy, no problem at all. No waiting."
Marian says her positive experience at AECC UC has been down to their thorough approach. “What makes AECC special is the fact that they try to find out what the problem is rather than the problem you have presented. I came thinking I perhaps had a joint problem. I now realise that it's more to do with an imbalance I have on one side. They do quite a lot of questioning and physical examination to find out exactly where the weaknesses are, which I don't think you would get elsewhere. And I know because I have been elsewhere.”
Marian is grateful to her physiotherapist for examining her in such depth and getting to the bottom of the problem. "My physiotherapist identified that in fact the whole of my right side from my hip down to my ankle is weaker than my right. I’ve been compensating by putting more weight on my right side and that, in turn, has made my left side weaker. So my physiotherapist has been giving me exercises to do to even those imbalances out," she explains.
Above: Marion working with her Physiotherapist in the Integrated Rehabilitation Centre
With her rehabilitation plan set in place Marian is now working towards running in the London marathon in April. But despite her ambitious goals her reasons for running remain simple. "My goals are to be able to keep mobile for as long as possible" she says. "Running gets me out in the fresh air, it gets me a social life. It's a lot of fun and I would not like to be stopped in my tracks by a problem that could be fixed. If AECC are in the process of fixing it, then that's absolutely fine by me."
Marian's inspiring story shows the positive impact that exercise can have on our lives. Even at the age of 74, she continues to challenge herself, set new goals, and keep moving. She is an inspiration to all who strive to live a healthy and active life, regardless of their age.
Find out more about the Clinical & Rehabilitation Services at AECC UC
Above: Marian after completing the London Marathon, April 2023