Nuala becomes a member of the 100 Marathon Club

Nuala Smyth completed her 100th Marathon at the South Downs Trail course on Saturday Picture: Graham Hool

Nuala Smyth completed her 100th Marathon at the South Downs Trail course on Saturday Picture: Graham Hool

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Angmering runner Nuala Smyth became a member of the 100 Marathon Club when she completed the South Downs Trail Marathon on Saturday.

The 51-year-old, who runs for Arunners Running Club, became the first female racer to reach three figures for the Littlehampton-based team.

After completing her phenomenal achievement, Smyth admitted it was a huge relief and said: “I’ve had this planned and hoped this would be my 100th race for nearly a year, so for it finally to fall into place was great.

“It’s been a really tricky road to reach 100 races and to get to that total is a massive relief for me.

“It almost feels as though a weight has been lifted off my shoulders now. I’ve put myself under a lot of pressure but now I’ve reached the milestone I set out to achieve.”

Smyth, who competed in her first 26.2-mile race just eight years ago, was given the number 100 bib to run in at South Downs’ course.

A major factor behind the Arunner bringing up her century in this specific race was the fact a large number of Arunners compete in this event, while several members also take part in the relay race.

She added: “I’ve had this race pencilled in for a while as I wanted to get to three figures alongside a number of my Arunners team.

“I have had great support from them all along and it was brilliant to be with so many on this day.”

Smyth was cheered to the finish by her two daughters Roisin and Callie, while fiance Graham was also in attendance.

The Arunner also completed the course alongside her brother Dermot, who was racing in his sixth marathon.

Smyth added: “My family have been so supportive during the whole time I have been looking to reach this goal. If both my fiance and daughters hadn’t been behind me in this then I wouldn’t have been able to achieve this goal.

“Obviously, the three of them couldn’t have been with me for every race but it was special for them to be at the race on Saturday.”

After reaching the 100 mark, Smyth admits she will continue with her racing but now wants to taste more action on the continent.

With no pressure to cram in as many races into her schedule she wants to experience differing races across Europe.

She said: “I think I’m going to have a little look and try to do several different races in differing countries.

“I’ve got another race coming up in a couple of weeks and I just want to keep going now.

“I was never just doing the races to reach 100, I am doing it because it’s something I enjoy and want to carry on now.

“I’ve got a great chance to take my time with no pressure and test myself on some of the best courses across Europe, which is what I hope to do now.”

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