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From Fun Runner to International Elite Athlete3 min read

Coes are delighted to sponsor elite athlete, Helen Davies, as she takes on even more running challenges in 2019. We will be teaming up with her on a number of projects and can’t wait to see what she achieves next!

Ever wondered how the best-of-the-best get into running? Helen tells us about her journey to become 4th fastest woman in the UK…

In 2003, I pulled on a pair of tatty old cross trainers, a pair of joggers and a cotton t-shirt, and took to my first run through the county lanes of Grundisburgh in Suffolk. Little did I know on this day where my running journey would take me…

Now  – 16 years on – I have represented England 5 times and also had the chance to represent Great Britan. I’ve also been to the Commonwealth Games and European Championships; and trained at Altitude with the best in the world. 

Making My Return

Since returning to competitive marathon running in 2017, after a 5 year break in order to start my family, I have had unprecedented and unexpected success over the distance.

As a mummy to two wonderful, energetic little boys, now age 4 and nearly 6, this does not come without its challenges. Nevertheless, last April (after my win at Brighton Marathon in a time of 2:38), I achieved selection for team England. I was asked to represent at the Toronto Waterfront Marathon in Canada, which came 10 years after my first England selection for the same event. Here I ran a time which was faster than I ever hoped for, 2:35, my 2nd fastest time ever. To achieve this, in challenging conditions, and despite approaching my 40th year, I realised I had more to achieve and I could possibly still attain a life time best over my favourite distance.

Leaving 2018 ranked 4th fastest in the UK overall, and 1st fastest V35, has launched me into 2019 with renewed determination. Because of this, I will continue to pursue my goals, but with more hunger and more fire in my belly than ever before.

My results last year could not have been achieved without the tremendous support of kit sponsors, my coach, personal trainer, sports therapist and physio, as well as support from Coes running. In so many ways, big and small, physically, mentally and financially, it makes such a difference.

Knowing my home town is behind me and believes in me, is what keeps me inspired.

Looking to the Future

I am so excited for 2019, and what may be instore for the year ahead. While there will be highs and lows, I am prepared and ready for the challenge. I am very proud and honoured to be fully supported and sponsored by Coes running and I’m looking forward to the journey ahead. My hope is that, together, we can inspire the runners of Suffolk to achieve their running goals and dreams in the year ahead, and prove that there are no limits!

I have been inspired by many greats over the years and know the value of knowledge and experience from one who has it to give. I now find myself in a wonderful position being able to inspire and help others through all that I have learned on my great running journey from a fun runner to an international elite athlete.

To be inspired is great, to inspire is an honour.

With dedication, commitment, and self-belief, anything is possible!


Whether you’re a beginner or an avid runner, we can help keep you on the path to achieving your goals. Shop our range of running clothing, shoes and accessories, in-store and online at Coes.

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