Team England’s marathon hope for Commonwealth Games is proud of her Norfolk roots
06:30 21 May 2014
PA Wire/Press Association Images
Team England’s female competitor in the marathon at this summer’s Commonwealth Games will be Norwich-born Amy Whitehead.
The 35-year-old’s place in the team was among the first athletics confirmations for the Commonwealths alongside men’s competitor Steve Way, based on their performance at last month’s London Marathon.
Whitehead, whose maiden name is Waterlow, finished 13th in London in a time of 2:34.20 hours and is now preparing to compete in Glasgow at the end of July.
The mother-of-one lived in Taverham until she was 10 years old, attending Ghost Hill Infant School, before her family moved away to Cheshire.
Her father, Roy Waterlow, was well known among local athletes for his involvement with the Duke Street Running Club and Whitehead has competed in most of Norfolk’s main races, including winning the Grand East Anglia Run in King’s Lynn in 2010.
Whitehead said: “I’m absolutely over the moon. It’s a dream come true, since having my daughter I’ve wanted to represent my country in the marathon I feel really privileged and proud to be part of the team.
“I’ve always wanted to make the Commonwealth Games and it’s been a personal ambition of mine to get here. I would love to do as well as I possibly can.
“When you put on an England vest you want to do everybody proud.”
Whitehead now lives in Edwalton, on the outskirts of Nottingham, with husband Andy and their five-year-old daughter Holly.
After missing out on competing at the Commonwealths as a teenager – having competed the 5km qualifying time but not ranked in England’s top three aged 19 – and a London 2012 Olympics marathon place, qualification for Glasgow means a lot for Whitehead.
She took to the line at this year’s London Marathon having already met the qualification time of 2.35 hours, but improved her chances even further by finishing as the first British lady in 2:34.20 hours.
It continues a long journey from wanting to start running, like her dad, and making her debut in the fun run before the Norwich Half Marathon at the age of seven.
Whitehead added: “I’m very proud of my Norfolk roots and my mum and dad still have a holiday home at Weybourne near Holt so we normally come back a number of times a year and have close friends there.”