An Oxfordshire woman has kept running huge distances through each of her four pregnancies including most recently completing a marathon.

Sophie Carter, 43, of Woodstock, ran while pregnant with her youngest child, Teddy, in 2022.

Mrs Carter completed a 50km race, two 100kms as well as the marathon, which she did in three hours and 39 minutes.

She even squeezed in a 12-mile jog the day before she gave birth.

The mum-of-five estimates she ran 3,000 miles during her most recent pregnancy and was back at it two days after labour.

READ MORE: Oxford Town and Gown 10k call out for runners taking part

Witney Gazette: Sophie Carter, mum-of-fiveSophie Carter, mum-of-five (Image: SWNS)

The mum said it helps her to stay mentally healthy while juggling work, carrying a baby and looking after young children.

The personal trainer said: "When you're pregnant it can feel like your body's not your own and you're being taken over by something out of your control.

"Being able to keep running gave me that peace of mind to say, 'I'm still me'.

"I ran while I was pregnant with the twins up until 36 weeks pregnant.

"When I tell people, they're always very surprised, but I found it really beneficial, especially as it was lockdown and people had nothing to do."

In October last year, at 31 weeks pregnant, she completed the Virtual London Marathon, finishing in an impressive time of three hours and 39 minutes.

Witney Gazette:

Although it was some way off her best marathon time of two hours and 48 minutes,

Mrs Carter said: "The bump slows you down, but it was fast for someone at 31 weeks. I was just pleased to be able to cover the distance.

"Your muscles hold the baby in place, so there's hardly any movement around."

The personal trainer says running a marathon while pregnant is no different to preparing for a regular marathon.

"The main difference is I'm running slower and listening to my body a lot more.

"Most people I tell are amazed by how far I can run and say, 'I can't even do that when I'm not pregnant.

"It's a myth that women shouldn't exercise while pregnant. My pregnancies were healthy, and I haven't had any problems.

She has always enjoyed long-distance running and completed her first marathon in 2006, aged 25.

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But when her mum, Auriel, fell ill with bowel cancer in 2012, she began to focus on running more seriously.

At the time, she was pregnant with her second child, Ethan, and her then-husband was posted to Afghanistan as part of the British Army.

She was looking after her firstborn Faith at home alone, and running became her "safe space".

She said: "Sometimes I'd run twice a day for up to 20 miles,"

"Running was the one thing that made me feel better about myself. It was a safe space and it gave me a goal to focus on."

After her mum died in 2017, she took up ultramarathons - up to 100km, nearly two and half times the distance of a single marathon.

"I thought, 'what makes me feel happy?' Running," she said.

"That's what spurred me on and helped me deal with the grief."