It’s the time of year when people are cautiously thinking about exercise, to counter the inevitable indulgences of the festive period.
Thanks to the efforts of Manx Sport and Recreation coach Trevor Christian, there’s a group of dedicated souls already months ahead of the pack.
The Begin to Run sessions were launched in August, with the idea to build a friendly group of mixed ability regulars of all shapes and sizes to get together for weekly runs on Douglas Promenade.
Island Life went along to that first session and met a group that ranged from seasoned runners to complete beginners, and this week caught back up with the hardy bunch on a cold, wet December afternoon to see what goals – and friendships – have been achieved.
Kerry Mackey is one that has stuck it out since the start: ‘In August I could only run for one minute at a time, with two-minute walking rests in-between,’ she recalled. ‘At the end of that first session Trevor said within three months I would do five kilometres non-stop. That was the aim, but I never thought I’d be able to do it! We built up, and probably by about November I could run five kilometres. I wouldn’t have done it unless I came to the group, no way would I come out in this weather on my own!’
Trevor added: ‘The sessions are really helping people grow in fitness and in confidence. One of our runners has lost about 20 kilograms in weight. Even if you think you cant run, that’s OK, just walk and we can build you up.’
Denise Goodburn was also a beginner back in August, and now is aiming to compete at the Liverpool half marathon next year.
‘I was the same as Kerry,’ said Denise. ‘I found jogging really painful. It’s the support that gets you through, as if I would come down on my own to the promenade in this rain!’
Also enjoying the sessions is Russian Yana Klimova, who joined up to meet new people and help improve her English.
‘We’ve also signed up for “Jantastic”, a three month program to get people running after Christmas and keep it going; rather than losing a bit of weight and then stopping,’ added Trevor.
Sessions, £2 a go, are 12.10 to 12.50pm on Mondays and Fridays meeting at the Jubilee Kiosk. For more contact Trevor on 688576, firstname.lastname@example.org or see www.facebook.com/RUNIOMbegintorun