Former Great Britain Olympic marathon runner Mara Yamauchi is special guest for the 60th Easter Festival of Running later this month.

During her athletics career Mara competed at the highest level, winning a bronze medal in the women’s 10,000 metres at the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne, finishing sixth in the women’s marathon at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing and coming home second in the 2009 London Marathon.

In the latter race, she set a lifetime best time of 2 hours 23 minutes 12 seconds which, until recently, placed her second on the all-time Great Britain rankings behind Paula Radcliffe.

As an Oxford University student, and under her maiden name Myers, Mara was the women’s champion at the 1998 Easter Festival when she won all three races.

This year she again plans to run in all three races.

Mara Yamauchi competing at the 1998 Easter Festival
Mara Yamauchi competing at the 1998 Easter Festival (-)

Mara remains heavily involved in athletics through coaching, writing and regular television commentary work.

Director of the IQEQ-sponsored festival Chris Quine said: ‘We are delighted to be welcoming Mara as our special guest.

‘As someone who competed in the Festival as a young athlete and then went on to achieve success as an international athlete, she symbolises the important role that the event has played throughout its history in helping athletes to reach their full potential.’

The 10km road race in Port Erin takes place on Good Friday, March 29, followed by the Peel Hill race the following day and the Douglas Promenade 5km races on Easter Sunday morning.