Couch to 5k suc­cess is a life changer for run­ners

Macclesfield Express - - MACCLESFIELD HARRIERS -

EV­ERY Satur­day morn­ing around 200 run­ners take part in a fun, free 5K run around Ast­bury Mere in Con­gle­ton.

On Satur­day, Jan­uary 21, their num­bers were swelled by four re­cent grad­u­ates of the lat­est Couch to 5K (C25K) course or­gan­ised by Mac­cles­field Har­ri­ers and Ath­letic Club.

Lucy Lawn, Sinead Mus­grave, Karen Smith and Michael Smith showed just how far they have come in just a few months. All four new re­cruits im­proved on their pre­vi­ous Con­gle­ton parkrun times.

In to­tal, 26 Har­ri­ers ran the 5km (just over 3 miles) route with three loops around the scenic mere.

For many Har­ri­ers, tak­ing part is about fun and friend­ship, as well as im­prov­ing fit­ness and well-be­ing.

Other mem­bers are more com­pet­i­tive. Louisa Whit­ting­ham, fastest fe­male at the lat­est Con­gle­ton parkrun, re­ally en­joys her rac­ing and runs for the Har­ri­ers cross-coun­try team and also com­petes in track and field events. Peter Good­fel­low and Aadi Whit­lock, who both set new per­sonal bests at the Con­gle­ton parkrun, also com­pete in ju­nior cross-coun­try races and track and field events.

And last Satur­day, the Con­gle­ton parkrun was a chance for all mem­bers to gain points in the club’s Road Race Cham­pi­onship – an in­for­mal chal­lenge with the best six races over the year to count. Points could mean prizes, even for beginners. There is a hand­i­cap tro­phy for the most im­proved run­ner and in the­ory any­one can win.

The club runs sev­eral Couch to 5K cour­ses each year for novice run­ners. The course starts off with brisk walk­ing and small amounts of run­ning.

At the end of the course, the plan is to be able to run 5km with­out need­ing to stop. There is lots of sup­port from lead­ers and other par­tic­i­pants in a friendly and so­cia­ble en­vi­ron­ment.

Karen Smith said: “Some, like me, had dab­bled some years ago and some had never run but we all had the de­sire to im­prove our health and well-be­ing and hope­fully make friends along the way.

“This re­ally is a lifechang­ing/ en­hanc­ing/ trans­form­ing process and we, the C25Kers, would like to thank the Har­ri­ers, lead­er­ship team and all the helpers for their time and for in­tro­duc­ing us to the com­mu­nity of run­ners.”

A new nine-week C25K course will be­gin on Thurs­day, April 6 at the club­house be­hind Mac­cles­field Leisure Cen­tre.

Please con­tact c25k­course6@gmail.com if you wish to join the course.

Lucy Lawn fin­ish­ing the Con­gle­ton parkrun

Grad­u­ates of the most re­cent C25K course proudly show off their medals and cer­tifi­cates, sup­ported by their course lead­ers and helpers

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