European Championships: Jo Pavey says becoming a mum has helped on and off the track

Last Updated: 14/08/14 2:45pm

Jo Pavey: Having kids has helped me crack on

Jo Pavey says the joys of motherhood helped give her the extra edge required to claim 10,000m gold at the 2014 European Championships.

The distance runner from Devon, who turns 41 next month, followed up her Commonwealth bronze from a fortnight ago by becoming the oldest female athlete in history to become European champion.

Pavey gave birth to her second child just 11 months ago and she believes being a parent has given her the contentment to take her distance-running to the next level.

"I just feel really happy, you know?" Pavey said. "I got to a certain age in my career and thought 'what am I doing?'

"It made me start to not enjoy the sport, the fact that I hadn't got any children because ultimately becoming a mum was just such an important thing.

"It's more important than anything and to continue running without that happening. For me, thought 'it's time to have kids'.

"Now I'm fortunate enough to have two little lovely kids it makes me feel like now I can crack on with my running.


"I feel happy that I'm doing it rather than 'oh, this is really wrong because having a family is the most important thing'.

"Now I've got two lovely children and obviously my husband (and coach Gavin) is really supportive, which enables me to crack on and enjoy it to its full really.

"I feel fortunate that one thing that motivates me is that my running actually gives us more time together as a family as opposed to less because my husband and I are both based at home because of my running.

"I do feel extremely fortunate that's the case because a lot of our friends have got the pressures of going to an office whereas we're just based at home because of running which is a lovely side of it for me."

Pavey returns to the track at the Stadion Letzigrund this weekend to compete in her second European final of these Championships – the 5000m.

"I'll go out there and give it my best," Pavey said. "I'm excited to have another go out there."