Name: Anna Boniface
Date of Birth: 27th April 1991
Club: Reading AC
Coach: Rob Squad
Residence: Reading, Berkshire, UK
Main event: Marathon
Education: Brunel University, BSc (Hons) Physiotherapy 2010-2013
Career: Specialist Respiratory Physiotherapist, Imperial Collage NHS trust, London
Biggest influences: Paula Radcliffe, Alexi Pappas, Tracy Barlow, Eloise Wellings
I started running like most through school cross country. I started training with Reading Athletics Club at 16 and competed regularly in the cross country team. However, with a big injury set back and spending months of crutches, I didn’t return to the sport until my first year at Brunel University.
There were many frustrating seasons of feeling that I wasn’t reaching my full potential. I would often finish last on the track, miss out on county team selections and have little progress on personal bests. Although very much inspired by the London 2012 Olympic Games, I lacked confidence in myself and my athletics. With stepping up to the longer distances and gradually increasing my mileage over the next few seasons saw some major breakthroughs. This escalated from my first sub 20 5k at a Christmas day parkrun in 2014 and a 85 minute half marathon a few months later.
Ever since my mum ran the London Marathon in 2001, I knew it was something I wanted to do. Breaking the 90 minute barrier resulted in an automatic entry through the championship entry to the 2016 London Marathon. Whilst balancing my job at a busy acute hospital, often working 10 day’s straight and working on call in the middle of night, I increased the miles and training for my first marathon. With a debut of 2.45.53, I knew that I needed to take things more seriously. Teaming up with Rob Mckim and the mighty Rob Squad, I moved out of London back to Reading along with a job change.
With the guidance of my coach, team, family, friends and sponsors, I trained hard for my second marathon. With some pleasing results on the domestic cross country scene, I went into the London Marathon with confidence and improved my PB by almost 9 minutes. I crossed the line in 2.37.07 finishing first female in the mass race.
Doors have now opened to many opportunities, including my first international debut at the Toronto Waterfront Marathon, representing England.
I have my sights set on making a major championship in the future.
Follow my journey.