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Helen Gaunt is a PT and runner based in Tunbridge Wells who has several years of success in running, including 1st place W40 in the World Marathon Majors 2022, 1st place 2022 Great Run Bristol 10K outright and more recently 3rd place British female at the 2023 London Marathon – Helen finished in a club record time of 2.35.38 which is the UK’s fifth fastest ever over 40 age group time!

Q&A with Helen Gaunt
1. How did you get involved in running?
I started running when a friend suggested we do a Race For Life 5k, it went a bit better than expected with a podium finish! I did a few more races then joined a London running club, Serpentine RC where I met my husband and made lots of lasting friends.
2. What is your most preferred running distance to race? 
Marathon has got to be my favourite, you don’t get to run them very often so it’s a really special distance. I always felt more comfortable with half marathon and marathon but in the past year the buzz of the 5k and 10k has grown on me.
3. What advice would you give to a young, aspiring marathon runner? 
Plan your pace realistically and stick to it! Don’t be tempted to go out too fast. The marathon where I got a negative split was the one where I was super disciplined. Also practice your fuelling and hydration, getting it right is critical! 
4. Which running achievement are you most proud of? 
Bronze in the UK and England Champs at London Marathon 2023 was amazing. And total surprise to finish 1st W40 in the World Marathon Majors 2022 and win the Great Run Bristol 10k outright, my first England Vest opportunity.
5. Growing up, who was your all-time inspirational sports person? 
I saw Paula Radcliffe’s record breaking London marathon on TV, my dad was a talented runner and was avidly following it. I didn’t get into running until my 30s but read her book and I’m lucky enough to have met her in person!
6. What are your aspirations for running for 2023 and beyond? 
I believe I can cut my marathon down further, I’m all about the marathon, it’s a magic distance. I’d like to get some PBs in the shorter distances along the way and target another England vest - such an honour to run for your country.
7. Tell us something that most people don’t know about you? 
Before becoming a mother and launching my personal training and run coaching business I worked in journalism, marketing and PR including three years as an editor at the Financial Times in London on their banking magazines.
8. How do you keep mentally focused during tough marathon events? 
I’m a determined person and when I have a goal I will stick to it even in the face of challenge. It’s about staying focused and thinking on your feet so you can deal with the unexpected, not letting anything at all phase you. 
9. Where did you hear about Beet It Sport products? 
I really did my homework about nutrition when I got into running and sampled this product at a London marathon expo. In my build up to London I was all about those one-percenters, I bought the juice and knocked back a Beet It shot pre-race!
10. Why do you use Beet It Sport and how has it helped you? 
I drink Beet It the week before key races then take a shot on the day. I know the science - dietary nitrate significantly reduces the oxygen cost of exercise and delays onset of fatigue, what’s not to like! I believe in it, and it tastes good!
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