Anyone who has known me for a while is aware of how big running is in my life. I have gone from someone who a few years ago would often comment “why would you run when you can drive?”, to not being able to stop running, even when I should really rest and let a niggle recover (like now for instance).
For those who do not know my story, here is a brief run down:
I began running in 2015 when a brave 5 year old boy called Skye, died from the treatment he was given for a brain tumour, two days after we delivered his hot tub wish. I wanted to do something, so thought why don’t I do something I really hate – running! I honestly hated every step. I couldn’t run for 30 seconds without wanting to cry. Skye kept me going through those first few months. His quote “Make the most of what you’ve got” spurred me on, until I ran Oxford Half 10 months later. I met a lovely chatty pacer, who helped me around the course. I saw how sociable running can be, how it crosses over age, religion, backgrounds – none of that matters. After crossing that finish line, I knew I had caught the bug.
In 2017, I was introduced to 261 Fearless. I had never heard of Kathrine Switzer or 261 Fearless. I didn’t know the history behind women in sport and the obstacles which have been overcome for women to be included in sport.
“261 Fearless Inc. is a global non-profit organisation founded by pioneer runner, Kathrine Switzer. She was the first woman to officially enter and run the Boston Marathon – wearing the official bib number 261. 261 Fearless uses running as a vehicle to empower and unite women globally through the creation of local women’s only running clubs, education opportunities, a communication platform, merchandising and events.
Through these networking opportunities, 261 Fearless breaks down the barriers of geography and creates a global community for women runners of all abilities to support and talk to each other, encouraging healthy living and a positive sense of self and fearlessness.”
Through my own experiences, I know how much running can change your life. Not only do you meet people outside of your box, but you support people, you feel better physically, you gain mental strength and learn that you can go further than you ever imagined.
Helping people is something I love to do. When the opportunity came up to go on the 261 Fearless Coaches course with the view to setting up a club locally, I jumped at the chance. I want to see the ladies who come along grow as people. I want to see them switch off for one hour a week and put a smile on their face. And so here I am. A qualified 261 Fearless Coach who is in the midst of setting up a running club in Bicester. I’m so excited – but also terrified. I’m not good at public speaking, I have very little confidence in my own abilities. But again, running is pushing me outside of my box and taking me further than I ever thought possible.
Through 261 fearless, I want to help as many women as possible realise they are strong and can go out in to the world fearless and free.
261 Fearless Club Bicester
261 Fearless Club Bicester is having a launch event on Thursday 19th April 2018 at Whitelands Farm Sports Ground Cafe – 9:30am to around 10:30am. There will be a short presentation, a message from Kathrine and lots of opportunities to ask questions and find out more. The run meets will begin the week after, same time, almost the same place (we will meet in the car park).