BRECON fitness instructor Alison Nicholls. Alison, aged 54, recently ran two marathons in eight days on two different continents.

On October 29 she ran the Snowdon marathon and eight days later she ran the New York Marathon - some 3,200 miles away.

Alison has run nine marathons and has done the New York Marathon once before.

She said: "I’ve been running since the age of 11 and it’s always been a passion of mine.

"Snowdon was a real tough one. Five miles was uphill and it was very hard, I must admit it took everything out of me and I had nothing left by the time I got to New York but I still finished it."

Alison ran Snowdon in four hours and 35 minutes and New York in four hours and 21 minutes. She said: "For me it wasn’t a good time because I had previously run New York Marathon in three hours and 23 minutes."

She said she would like to convey her thanks to her support team for being there at mile 17 in New York. The team consisted of Aled Edwards, who actually ran Snowdon with Alison, Sarah Jane Hughes and Victoria Stuart. The team waved Welsh flags in Central Park to encourage and support Alison.

She wasn’t running the marathons for charity because she had been unwell and suffering with a bad back which meant she only had six weeks to train and was unsure whether she would be able to do both marathons and so didn’t want to collect sponsorship money in case she couldn’t complete the challenge.

Alison said: "I used to be in the army and have always ran. I’ve done a lot of single marathons so to do two was a personal challenge and they were close together but they were just two marathons that I really wanted to do."

She added: "I’m proud to have done it at my age. Snowdon was very hard but New York was easier in the fact that I new what to expect but at about mile 15 I felt I had nothing left. My body hadn’t recovered from Snowdon."

As well as being a fitness instructor for Freedom Leisure in Brecon Leisure Centre, Alison also works at The Infantry Battle School, Dering Lines, in Brecon and has worked there for 16 years. The fitness instructor job is her second job and hobby and she leads five spinning classes, one kettle bells class and one Swiss ball class a week.