Fastest witch in the world

Nicola Nuttall with her certificate for setting a record time as the fastest witch in the world. (s)
Nicola Nuttall with her certificate for setting a record time as the fastest witch in the world. (s)
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Pendle running ace Nicola Nuttall is now the fastest witch in the world.

The fleet-footed Barrowford runner laid claim to that title in the Virgin London Marathon on Sunday.

Nicola Nuttall running the Virgin London Marathon on Sunday. (s)

Nicola Nuttall running the Virgin London Marathon on Sunday. (s)

Having been disappointed in her record attempt last year, she stormed into the record books this time around with a time of three hours, 26 minutes and 13 seconds.

More than 30 people claimed records for being the fastest fancy dress runner of their type including dinosaurs, the Mona Lisa, a cheerleader, a toilet roll and completing the run in wellington boots.

Nicola wanted to fly the flag for Pendle and donned a Pendle Witch outfit as she did last year.

At the 2016 event she failed in her record bid as the costume was too heavily modified.

But this time around she left nothing to chance and finished the race in her best-ever time for the London event.

The race was her third marathon of the year having previously set a personal best time for the distance in Tokyo before bettering it in Manchester at the start of the month. With just three weeks between Manchester and London, Nicola was delighted with her best-ever time for the iconic London event.

She explained: “I was never really sporty as a youngster and didn’t really start running until I was 39.

“I had done Race for Life, but then decided to give the Great North Run a go and enjoyed it so much that I entered a marathon in Windermere six months later.

“My time at Windermere was ‘good for age’ to qualify for London and once I had run it, I was hooked.”

The 47-year-old mother-of-two now has 16 marathons to her name and is one of the elite club of runners to hold the special World Marathon Majors medal having completed the renowned events in London, Tokyo, Berlin, Boston, Chicago and New York.

“I was running for Macmillan Cancer Support on Sunday and was thrilled with my time despite falling over at 5k and stopping to be interviewed by Colin Jackson on the way round.

“I have also run races in the past for the Alzheimer’s Society and while I wouldn’t rule out another fancy dress attempt in the future, I am now getting ready to run the Race to the Stones, a double ultra race which is 50km on successive days.”

When not running in fancy dress, Nicola is proud to wear the black and white stripes of Trawden Athletic Club and she and husband, Mark, regularly compete at Pendle parkrun on Saturday mornings.

Looking back at an extraordinary few weeks, Nicola said: “It still amazes me really, I few years ago I couldn’t run for a bus.

“I think as you get older you just don’t give up.

“I took my daughters Laura and Gracie to watch the Burnley Fire Station race a few years ago and thought I might give running a try.

“After that it was the Great North Run, parkruns at Heaton Park and Burnley before Pendle was launched.

“Being part of Trawden AC and the parkrun is brilliant for runners as everyone is so encouraging and makes it all worthwhile.”