May 14, 2015
I live in Stratford, East London in the borough of Newham, and despite this being the least active place in the country (according to a recent piece of government research) I am incredibly proud to be a long term Newham Resident which is why I have ALWAYS gone out of my way to take part in any of the local sports challenges that go on.
In 2004 my journey started with a Community Fit club run in Beckton Park…you know that one where that little kid called me Fat?? Then there was the 10K around Stratford with my hungover friend…and then as the Olympic Park emerged out of the grounds there were the National Lottery 5 mile runs…of which I have done 3. (2011, 2013, 2014)
But never have I been so excited about an upcoming local race.
On Sunday 19th July I will be pacing my way around the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park (my local park I might add) and get this….finishing in the OLYMPIC STADIUM…and you could join me too for a once in a lifetime opportunity to run on the very same track that Mo Farah, Jessica Ennis and all those other amazing athletes did their magic back in 2012.
Yesterday (as you may well have seen on social media) I was lucky enough to be invited to the launch where Paula Radcliffe unveiled 6 women from London who will be working with her to prepare for the big day. It was lovely meeting these ladies many of whom are complete beginners or running for specific causes.
Paula was absolutely lovely, really passionate about getting women running she told the ladies “Running has given me so much pleasure and a lot of wonderful experiences and I want to share that with you guys and help you reach your goals” and it’s true running really can do that, even if you are not a world class elite athlete.
So let me introduce you to the ladies
Paula Blake is a 52 year old mum of 4 from Newham, who works for a fab youth organisation where one of my good friends work too. We had a great chat about being a larger lady that runs…she’s really looking forward to the event and hopes to inspire the young people she works with.
Pherenice Worsey-Buck is 41 from Bromley. She was windowed at the age of 39 and in celebration of her husbands life is running 43 events to mark each year that he was alive.
Donna White is a police officer for the Metropolitan Police, she is also a combat medic for the Army Reserves. She has little time for running and hopes this challenge will help her integrate it into her busy life.
Devkee Trivedi is from Enfield and was knocked off her bike last year by a car, then in December the 24 year old was hospitalised with viral meningitis and lost all hearing in her right ear. She has used running to help with her recovery and confidence.
Meera Sankaranarayanan is a mum off two and comes from a background where running was a sport only for males, but now living in the UK she now feels like she has the opportunity to run.
Vicki Read is general manager of the Newham Leisure Centre and having looked after her mother as she lost her battle with cancer, she has decided to raise money in her name. She was wearing an awesome “I run for beer” tshirt which made me laugh.
The ladies got to warm up and run in the glorious sunshine in the shadows of the stadium with Paula and then pick her brains about how to approach the next few weeks of training. They will continue to get support and mentoring, and will be kitted out with some lovely new running kit too.
I for one have decided to go all out and try and get a 10K PB…I know its not all about speed, but after focussing on long distances recently I want to take a bit of a break from the miles and try to increase my speed…and 10K is a great distance for that.
So ladies, the question is…will you be joining us?
There are a few ladies from The Clubhouse already signed up, so I am happy to organise a meet up in the race area before and after the race for us Too Fat to Run ladies to meet and exchange notes…and wouldn’t it be awesome if we all wore our TFTR tees so we can spot one another?
The Olympic Park is very easy to get to by public transport, and there are plenty of hotels locally so why not make a weekend of it? The course will take in the sights of the Lee Valley Velopark, the London Aquatic Centre and Copper Box Arena…but it will be the stadium finish that will take your breath away for sure.
The Morrisons Great Newham London Run takes place on Olympic Park on 19 July 2015. To enter and have the opportunity to run in the former Olympic Stadium, http://www.greatrun.org/great-newham-london-run