Becky's marathon effort to get back to fitness after COVID-19

Becky Hodgson with the COVID-19 remembrance medal
Becky Hodgson with the COVID-19 Remembrance Run medal

Published on 24 June 2020

Specialist NHS nurse Becky Hodgson is used to tackling endurance running events, with a 52-miler already under her belt.

But the medal she received for finishing a five kilometre run is just as precious as any of her marathon trophies, as it was her first race after recovering from coronavirus. 

Becky, 55, who works as a Clinical Nurse Specialist in palliative care, tested positive for COVID-19 in May, after suffering with a high temperature, sinusitis and fatigue.

She said: “I had a high temperature for 11 days and there is that fear that it could suddenly become worse. 

“I’ve seen patients and had friends working elsewhere who had similar symptoms and then suddenly became very unwell on day nine or 10.

“But I was lucky and I had it relatively mildly, but it did affect my running fitness.” 

Becky, from Ashford, took up running again as an adult in 2016, beginning with local Park Run events. She completed the Couch to 5k running plan and then completed half marathons and marathons, including 12 half marathons in 12 months last year.

But after three weeks off work with the virus, she had to start rebuilding her strength and fitness, beginning with walks, and then walks with short bursts of jogging. 

She said: “I have been incredibly lucky. I was able to go back to work, and hit the ground running, even if not literally! 

“I started training again at the end of May, and I would have been doing a 100-mile ultra event, but it was cancelled because of COVID-19.

“It felt great to be out running again, even if the distance was a lot less than I had been planning before the pandemic.” 

Becky has been taking part in virtual events organised by Phoenix Running, and the 5k was part of their COVID-19 Remembrance Run, to honour and remember those who lost their lives to the disease.

She said: “Ordinarily I wouldn’t take part in anything less than a half marathon, but it did feel particularly poignant to take part in the COVID-19 Remembrance Run. 

“I’ll be out running again this weekend, and I think it will take a couple more months to get back to where I was.

“I am not in any hurry. It’s just nice to be able to say I’ve recovered and to be able to run again.”