Macclesfield Express - - MACCLESFIELD PEOPLE -

NOVICE run­ner Sally O’Shea re­ceived train­ing tips from the top when she met ath­let­ics great Paula Rad­cliffe.

They came to­gether to launch the search for ‘Rad­cliffe’s Great Run­ners’ – six women with some­thing to prove by en­ter­ing the Mor­risons Great Manch­ester Run.

Sally, of Dids­bury, only took up run­ning a year ago while Paula is near­ing the end of her il­lus­tri­ous ca­reer which saw her set a marathon world record in 2003 which stands to­day.

Sally, a 29-year-old HR man­ager, joined Paula at Sal­ford Quays as an ex­am­ple to oth­ers of what can be achieved through ex­er­cise. She has en­tered this year’s 10k run on Sun­day, May 10, after mak­ing her de­but in it last year. She will be once again rais­ing money for Fran­cis House in mem­ory of her late grand­fa­ther Pa­trick O’Shea, who worked near the chil­dren’s hospice.

Sally said: “It was fan­tas­tic to meet Paula Rad­cliffe who is such a hero of mine and she wanted to find out why I’d been in­spired to take up run­ning. I lost three­and-a- half stone from 16 stone and joined a gym.

“I was in a rut and not eat­ing healthily and lacked mo­ti­va­tion and de­cided to do some­thing about it.

“I’d never run be­fore and didn’t think I could com­plete the 10k be­cause of my weight. I felt so em­bar­rassed but was de­ter­mined to fin­ish the course and by do­ing so found the whole ex­pe­ri­ence mo­ti­vat­ing and in­spir­ing. To be hon­est, with­out train­ing for the run, I’d still be un­happy and un­healthy and I’ll be back on the start line again this year.”

The Mor­risons Great Manch­ester Run at­tracts up to 40,000 run­ners and was es­tab­lished in 2003 as a legacy from the Com­mon­wealth Games held in the city 12 months ear­lier. Paula won the 5,000m gold medal at the Games.

Paula, of North­wich, is still run­ning at 41 and over­came a se­ries of in­juries to en­joy a ca­reer on the track and road which saw her be­come a long-dis­tance World and Euro­pean cham­pion.

She said: “I want to find six women who might think that run­ning isn’t for them to join me as part of Rad­cliffe’s Great Run­ners.

“Per­haps you’re a mum who hasn’t run since your school days? Maybe you’re a ‘su­per gran’ who can still show the younger ones a thing or two? Per­haps you’re sim­ply car­ry­ing a few pounds and you want to get back in shape.”

Paula will of­fer train­ing ad­vice and give the run­ners a fi­nal pep talk be­fore the run.

They will also re­ceive spe­cial­ist sports­wear to help prepa­ra­tions.

If you think you’ve got what it takes to be one of ‘Rad­cliffe’s Great Run­ners’ email your de­tails to six­for manch­ester@great run.org with a max­i­mum 100-word sum­mary on why you should make the team. To en­ter the run visit www.greatrun.org/ Manch­ester.

●● Sally O’Shea from Dids­bury and Paula Rad­cliffe lim­ber­ing up at Sal­ford Quays

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