I am a runner! There I’ve said it, I’m no longer embarrassed, I’m proud but also humbled and don’t feel a fraud! At aged 53, it’s never too late.

My circumstances to starting Couch to 5k were conflicting. I always thought I was fairly fit, however sometimes a little overweight (or sometimes a lot). My younger sister was terminally ill and confined to her hospital bed. I needed to do something life affirming but also I need to step out of my comfort zone knowing my sister never could again.

Mid July 2019 I was passing Running Bear, Alderley Edge, there was a sign to join their Couch to 5k. I walked in the shop and joined the programme on that Wednesday evening. I was extremely nervous and doubted my abilities. The coach, Geoff, was really positive. It wasn’t all running, I needn’t have been worried. The programme was a gentle, progressive learning curve, steadily building up stamina, confidence and belief. There was never any pressure just a little push and persuasion. I ran my first full 5k on the 27th August 2019.

Once I’d completed the Coach to 5k and I had the certificate to prove it, I knew my relationship with running didn’t feel complete. I felt I had more in me. I cannot honestly say I enjoyed running yet but I was compelled to keep going. I joined a Faster 5k group run by Coach Nick Bishop who always had words of encouragement and helpful tips in running style.

I was never made to feel embarrassed at being the slowest, I was just encouraged to run. It was tough but actually fun and that’s something I never thoughts say about running.

My sister unfortunately passed away in February and I believe running has helped enormously. It’s an hour or so when I can switch off and collect my thoughts.

Not only do I feel fitter and stronger but I manage to run around 40 kilometres a week! Not bad for ‘non’ runner.