A sporty Wigan mum who scooped two unusual world records is now taking on a completely different athletic challenge.
Cat D'Ascendis became the fastest female runner dressed as a gingerbread man at last year’s London Marathon, before earning the half-marathon world record for the same novel achievement a few months later.
While she continues to run regularly, she has now also since taken up another sport - pole fitness.
Cat, from Bickershaw, fell in love with it after having her first lesson in December.
She said: “I started it a few months ago to help with my core strength and my general strength.
“I’m not a massive gym-goer. I got a bit addicted to it and ended up entering a competition.”
Just months after taking up the sport, Cat is preparing for the North East Pole and Aerial Championships, which will be held in Hull on Saturday October 20.
She said: “I had to do a video heat. You submit a routine and get chosen to perform at the championship.
“I was shocked to be chosen. I wasn’t really expecting it. Now I feel like I’m in the deep end!”
Mother-of-two Cat will perform a full routine on stage using props.
There will be two poles on the stage, one static and the other spinning.
Cat has been training up to five times each week at Chrome Dance in Hindley to prepare for the contest.
She said: “I’m feeling extremely nervous. It’s quite daunting.
“I do like to challenge myself and this is another challenge for me, but I have never done anything like that before so I will have to see how it goes on the day.
“I have been practising the routine regularly.
“I have been going through the music and everything like that and getting all my costume and make-up and props together.”
Account manager Cat loves her new sport and praised Andrew Farrell, from Chrome Dance, for his support.
She said: “It’s great fun. It’s a great way to build your strength.
“I have gone from having really no core upper body strength to being able to do things I couldn’t imagine.
“Andrew is really motivating and I have met a whole group of people who are really enthusiastic.”