AFTER spending her marathon career running as an individual, two-time Olympian Mara Yamauchi was able to call on the help of some friends when she undertook a series of adrenalin-pumping tasks at the UK Challenge in Snowdonia.

The event saw teams undertake a series of gruelling physical and mental tasks, including night runs, mountain biking, canoeing and puzzles over 54 hours.

The former Headington Road Runner, who retired in March 2013, was part of the team representing the Dame Kelly Holmes Trust, the UK Challenge’s charity partner.

The 40-year-old, who was born in Oxford, said: “It was fun getting the competitive juices going again.

“It made me realise that I have been a very individual athlete and actually it’s great to be in a team environment again.”

Set up by the double gold medal-winning Olympian in 2008, the Dame Kelly Holmes Trust aims to get lives on track by using-world class athletes to engage, enable and empower disadvantaged young people.

More than £100,000 was raised through this year’s UK Challenge with Yamauchi, who joined the Trust last year, praising the support offered for young people and athletes.

“The Trust really helped me think about where I wanted to go next, what my strengths are and really to prioritise and think about what I should do next as it is not always easy when you retire,” she added.

“I shadowed one of the Get on Track programmes and I was staggered by what those young people have been through in their young lives.”