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The first rule of running club, is that we talk a lot at running club. The other rules
of running club are: 1. Nobody gets left behind.
2. No apologising.
3. Be nice to yourselves.
4. You're amazing. (not so much a rule, more of a reminder)
Last November the BBW running group started, to be honest that first week we were more of a running pair than a group. Gill "Hill Killer" Lake (BBW Treasurer) bravely put herself in the hands of a beginner coach, and let me lead her in the first of our runs, week 1 of couch to 5k. The weeks progressed and very soon Emma "The Hare" Garrett (President of BBW) had joined us, and then Maureen "No Brakes" Hallett (BBW Membership secretary) also threw her hat in the ring. The aim of our group was to get fit, get running and raise some money for The Primrose Unit Research and Education Fund by raising sponsorship for a 5km race.
The couch to 5k schedule www.nhs.uk/Livewell/c25k/Pages/couch-to-5k-plan.aspx is a great way to start running, from my (Physiotherapy) point of view, I can see how it's been carefully put together to gradually increase time on feet and running time safely and with little risk of injury. The ladies stormed through the C25k schedule and all completed Parkrun at Bedford Park by January 2014. There were weeks when it wasn't easy. It was incredibly daunting at times, but these ladies have refused to be beaten. In fact as we made our way towards our initial goal of 5km, I felt it was time to broach the subject of a real challenge for them.
When I first mentioned 10km as our sponsored event, it's fair to say that there was a feeling that it may not be possible. 10km is a long way to run for any beginner, it's around an hour to an hour and a quarter of running. That's tough stuff. However, true to form, these ladies agreed to continue pushing their limits and putting aside fear they allowed me to nag them through more and more miles of training. Each week we have increased our distance, little by little, with a bit of speed work thrown in and we have now reached 5.5 miles. 10km is 6.2 miles, our goal is within reach. As well as our once a week group, the ladies have also had to find time to fit in 2 other runs per week, even on holiday...they've done treadmill running in the Canaries, beach running in Jersey, rainy running in Scotland to name a few.
On the 28th of September Gill, Maureen and Emma will be running around Draycote Water in the Run for Rotary 10km Race http://rfr.1060.org.uk/ it's a challenging course, with hills, exposed, windy straights and it will be the furthest these ladies have run so far. Not only that but a week later on the 5th of October, Emma "Multi-tasker" Garrett is also going to take part in a Sprint Triathlon (400m swim, 15 miles cycle, 5km run). Please support them. Sponsorship for the races would be very gratefully received and having seen how hard they have worked to get to this point I know how much it will mean to them to receive that support from you. And if you are a runner, why not show your support for them, and for the Primrose Unit by signing up for the race yourselves?
These ladies have run through frost, rain and baking heat, they have been a joy to run with and have never given up. They even allowed me to take a photo of them after running and agreed to it being made public. Now, that's dedication, but don't they look fantastic?
by Katie Barnard