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Heather’s Great Running Journey

Heather’s great running journey

I first started running in may 2016. I underwent treatment for breast cancer in 2015 and although I was recovering well, I felt tired and weak most of the time. At work we agreed that the family solicitors as a group would do Darlington 10k. I was pretty sure that was impossible but I began training. All of my colleagues then decided not to run, but I’d raised sponsorship so I felt obliged to run.

On the morning of the race I was sick with nerves and asked myself why I had ever Imagined I could run that far. I was delighted to actually finish the run. Afterwards I didn’t want to give up running because it had such  a positive impact on me mentally. I felt that I was stronger somehow.

That’s why I started attending Locke Park run in September 2016. I attended off and on until spring 2018 when, during a park run I got chatting to Tracy Russell (SRDI run leader in Redcar), who talked to me about the aspiring groups. I seen an article in Talk of the Town (a local free paper) about Sarah’s aspiring group on Tuesdays in Saltburn at 6.30pm so I went along to that one. I knew I wasn’t a great runner but they made me welcome, encouraged me (especially Sarah who never leaves anyone behind) and gradually my stamina improved, as did my enjoyment.

My daughter Sasha comes too when she can and we both really appreciate the friendly, chatty and fun atmosphere, even on the coldest darkest night. We decided to take part in the Stockton Simplyhealth Great Tees 10k because quite a few of the group were attending too.

Arriving on the day at Stockton, we soon found Sarah and the rest of the group had arrived. Tracy Russell ran with our group too, which was lovely because she is the reason I got involved with ‘Sisters-R-Doing It’ in the first place. The atmosphere was buzzing and running over the Newport bridge and passing well known landmarks really added to my enjoyment of the day, as did the on route entertainment and the friendliness of the competitors.

I got my best 10k time to date and it was lovely to be cheered on by the ‘sisters’ at the end of the race.

The photo was the cherry on the top and our apparent “elite” runner status publicised in the Gazette caused quite a stir on Facebook and many chortle. It was amazing to take part in this run as part of a larger group.

I’ve tried running alone and it’s much too easy to quit if i want to. Running with this group had been very encouraging. Also, I really appreciate Sarah no longer tells me where we’ll be running or how far (She may have guessed I will bottle out when intimidated).

Thanks SRDI and special thanks to Sarah and Tracy.


*situated in the top right hand side of the photo.

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