Back in 2016 I was doing the Moon walk with a few friends and in the middle of the walk in the early hours of the morning one friend invited me to join K&D running club. I had run before for a few years but only on my own and never in a group. I had been doing parkrun and seen many people but still ran on my own as I wasn’t brave enough to talk to others around me.
So in May 2016 I braved it and attended a Wednesday night at K&D. I’m really shy around people I don’t know, but I was meeting my friend there so I went a head and gave it a go. I became hooked really quickly. Everyone was really friendly; I was chatting with people I wouldn’t normally talk to and at the same time I was getting fit. I was then getting invited to other running occasions and finding myself having a laugh about all and nothing, as well as getting fit, and our amazing running leader was showing me areas of the local vicinity I never knew existed (all part of the fun). Parkrun no longer felt lonely and isolated and I was feeling more confident in talking to others I had met through running, I was volunteering more (soon to be run director) and finding myself cheering on and supporting others. These are all things I wouldn’t have done prior to joining a group.
Running in a group has meant when the weather has been bad or I’ve not been in the best mood I have still got my trainers on and got out in all sort of conditions. Running in a group has meant I can think to myself “Oh I can’t be bothered tonight, but I have promised ***** I will join them for a run” and afterwards I generally feel much better for doing so.
The runs then extended to after run coffees and cake, afternoons and evenings out. Meals after a race, weekends away and I even invited lots to my wedding. Now I’m aiming for a full marathon in the autumn. This is something I am absolutely terrified about, but my running buddies have sponsored me, and I know they will all be supporting me on the day. Because my running buddies are so supportive I decided that at the Birmingham marathon I would give something back to the community and I marshalled at the 25mile point. I wanted to give something back to my running buddies that have been there for me, and to motivate them at what was a difficult point for many. Such a memorial day was had.
Other friends have now started running who would have never run before, they are also getting something out of running in a group. New friends for all, a shared interest and lots of motivation.
Since running in a group I have made some very good friends, I have become more confident in myself as running balances out my mood and emotions, I hate having to run on my own now, as its boring with no one to gossip with and it drags, I’m not the fastest but I enjoy running.
Others have expressed that been part of the group has stopped them from giving up, as the friendships they have made and the camaraderie from the group has kept them going and motivated. They love the social aspect that running in a group has given them, putting the world to right and having fun times out, and everyone is always so welcoming.
What is also the main positive about been a woman in the group, no one is ever left behind on their own. Many will put their own run on hold to ensure no one is ever left at the back on their own. In the words of Penny running in a group is “Inclusive and Supportive”.