Woman standing at YMCA Surbiton gym people working out in the background

11 January 2018

Mariann Lenard, aged 27, has joined YMCA Surbiton Gym to improve her fitness and get ready for a marathon in her home country of Hungary. She joined the gym at the end of last year as she wanted to have a fitness regime that she could stick to. A Chessington resident, Mariann found it difficult to choose a gym in the area as there so many. But she loved the gym at YMCA Surbiton when she came to look around, because of the layout and the friendly staff. What’s more it’s really convenient as it’s on a bus route.

Mariann is a commis chef in a restaurant in Claygate, so she fits her gym visits around her working hours and visits four times a week.  She pounds the treadmill, building up her stamina and fitness, then works on the cross trainer. “The staff here are great, and helped me with my training,” says Mariann. “ I cycle around 5km a day to and from work too!”

The marathon that Mariann is taking part in is the Rotary Running Festival. It’s a road running event held every spring in the city of Debrecen in Eastern Hungary. “There are different races taking place but I’m running the longest at 42.2km. The weather in Hungary is much warmer than here, nearly 30 degrees so it will be great marathon to run, and around 4,000 people compete.”

Mariann has always loved sport. “When I was kid I was always competing, playing handball and softball. Then when I finished school I just took up running. I keep myself motivated with lots of different goals.”

So why is Mariann settled here in Surrey? “I have lived in many countries all over the world, Italy, Spain, Canada and the Netherlands before I came here to the UK. It’s easier to get a job here and my second language is English so it made sense to settle here for a while.”