Marathon runner from Welwyn Garden City targets London 2012 Olympics

INTERNATIONAL long distance runner Liz Yelling will miss tomorrow s (Sunday) London Marathon as she is eight months pregnant. But the Welwyn Garden City-born athlete is vowing to return to the sport in time for the London 2012 Olympics. WGC-born marath

INTERNATIONAL long distance runner Liz Yelling will miss tomorrow's (Sunday) London Marathon as she is eight months pregnant. But the Welwyn Garden City-born athlete is vowing to return to the sport in time for the London 2012 Olympics.

WGC-born marathon ace Liz Yelling is refusing to call time on her illustrious career just yet.

The 34-year-old is targeting the London 2012 Olympics despite being nearly eight months pregnant.

While many British stars consider retirement at her age, Yelling has simply announced a brief sabbatical from international marathon running after revealing she is expecting her first child in June.

The Commonwealth marathon bronze medallist, whose husband Martin is a world-class ironman triathlete, is eyeing one last shot at the big time at the London Games as she bids to compete in front of an expectant home crowd.

And after consulting with her fellow British international and Bedford AC club-mate Paula Radcliffe, who won the New York marathon in 2007 less than 10 months after giving birth to baby Isla, Yelling is adamant she can bounce back fitter and stronger than ever before for London 2012.

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"I have spoken a lot with Paula Radcliffe about the birth and she has given me a lot of advice but the one overriding thing she has told me is not to rush back," said Yelling.

"We are great mates and Paula has told me a lot about what it was like going back to running after she had her baby and so I have got some great advice and a few good warnings about rushing back.

"I don't think Paula has had her best race yet since coming back from having a baby but research suggests that female athletes can come back stronger after having a baby.

"But the human body is great for telling you exactly how you are feeling and when my body tells me I'm ready, I will come back and start pounding the pavements again.

"The chance that I might come back stronger after having a baby is certainly not why I did it, but it would be a wonderful consequence if it did come about.

"What I am going through, Paula has already been through before, so she is in a great position to help me out which is great - she has been incredibly supportive."

Yelling's first target will be the 2010 London Marathon and the veteran Brit, who finished 26th at the Beijing Olympics last summer despite suffering a nasty fall at the 10-mile mark, is convinced even more women could take up road running and complete a gruelling 26.2 miles around the capital.

The British international, who has published a book called The Woman's Guide to Running, is convinced a simple technique will make all the difference to enthusiastic amateurs.

"I hope to be back racing for the London Marathon in 2010 - that is my main goal and that is what I think is a realistic target," added Yelling, who warned correct equipment, realistic goals, ample rest, keeping training fun and identifying a training partner are crucial to success.

"Having a baby now was the right time for me because by having it now I should be able to be back racing and able to compete in London 2012.

"I'm not sure exactly how the timescale will work out because recovering from having a baby is not an exact science.

"But with all that is going to happen in the next few months, I'm still sure that I will go back to running and get focused on the London Olympics.

"With what happened in Beijing I really feel like I have unfinished business and I want to go to London to do myself justice in the Olympics.

"It was frustrating to come away from the Olympics in those circumstances and that gives me a real desire to come back to running after the baby and run well in London."

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