Jacquie Millett & Camilla Langlands, Ultra marathon runners
Profile by Bridget Osborne
A mother and daughter from Chiswick, Jacquie Millett and Camilla Langlands, have entered the Guinness World of Records by running more than 100 marathons together. Individually they’ve run even more than that. They’ve just come back from the Comrades race in South Africa, one of the toughest marathons in the world, which was Jacquie’s 176th and Camilla’s 137th marathon.
They got in touch with Guinness World of Records last year and were told that there wasn’t a record for a parent and child running marathons together but if they achieved 100 races, Guinness World of Records would establish a new category for them. By December last year they’d reached 102 marathons together. They’ve just now had notification that Guinness World of Records have finished their checks – they fastidiously checked every race – and added them to their official list of record breakers.
Jacquie, who only started running when she was 57, says she loves running with her daughter because it’s something they share. “It’s brought us closer together” she said. “We have a similar sense of humour and it gives us a lot of laughs”.
Camilla, who started in 2013 when she was 26, says “I never dreamed I could or would run a marathon let alone 137! To have completed over 100 of those with my mum has been the most wonderful experience and for it to be recognised with a new world record, is amazing! I look forward to the next chapter of our adventure. Next stop Seattle!” (mid-August). They now write a blog about their exploits: thisishowwerun.com
Pictures: Clockwise – Camilla and Jacquie in South Africa at the start of ‘Comrades’ 2018, Camilla and Jacquie in Valencia, with Portuguese friends in Lisbon, taking part in the Vitality 10K run, the Venice marathon and North Beach Parkrun, Durban, South Africa.
Jacquie, who took up running initially because she had a health scare and wanted to get fit, says taking part in marathons has opened all sorts of doors for her in a way that she didn’t expect at this time in her life. She brushes off any suggestion that running takes its toll, though she has run with a broken arm. She’s travelled to Toyko, New York, Venice, all over the world and relishes the opportunity to travel and to meet so many new people, many of whom have become friends.
Of all the many races she’s taken part in, it is the Comrades race in South Africa of which she is the most proud. At time of writing she’s just done it for the fourth time, all 57 miles of it. “It’s a really tough one” she says, “you have to get up at 1.30am to be at the race start point and start running at 5.30am before the sun is up. You see the sun come up as you’re running and as it goes down you’re still running”. The race takes about 12 hours and South Africans treat it like a national holiday, lining the route to cheer the runners on even early in the morning. Some 20,000 people take part, mainly men, with about 2,000 international competitors and 280 Brits participating this year. The race starts with all the runners singing the South African national anthem Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika and the traditional South African song Shosholoza. “It’s very emotional” says Jacquie “the atmosphere is electric and they give you so much support. There are lots of hills and they shout ‘come on English Mama’.”
We filmed Jacquie in April 2016, when she had just done her 100th marathon in Tokyo. Watch this inspiring interview and see how she did it.