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Each month on The Fat Girls Guide to Running blog we feature an amazing plus sized runner to help showcase what a diverse and inclusive sport running can be. Some months there is one particular follower who stands out, other times I literally bump into someone at an event who fits the bill, but on this occasion it was an image I saw on social media that alerted me to the lovely lady that is Billie Reed and I simply had to showcase her awesomeness.

10154058_10201777288981473_1633426240144999165_nSo Billie tell me a little bit about yourself.

Well…I am 35 and live in Clacton on Sea in Essex. I am a large lady with a 24 inch waist and I started running last year, after entering a local fun run and surprising myself by actually enjoying it.

Did you run a lot when you were younger? Yes, I used to run both the 100 meters and cross country for my school but I always came last lol

What do you love and hate about the sport of running? I love the feeling of achievement once the run is over, but hate the pain and hard work needed while I am still out there running.

How often do you run? Every Saturday

What kind of distances do you run in training? 5k only at the moment until I build stamina and distance

Do you parkrun?  Yes Colchester castle park and I love it. I am often found marshalling too.

993765_623585334325885_2123947016_nHave you taken part in any races? Summer 5k frinton and Walton fun run

Have you had any negative experiences whilst out running? Only the public shouting obscenities a few times

What are your biggest fears/concerns/hangups about being a plus sized runner? the fact that it harder as there is a lot of extra weight to carry whilst running.

What is your ultimate running goal and what’s stopping you from getting there? lose weight. I work shifts its sometimes hard to stick to a regular eating pattern

What’s more important to you and why? Frequency, running or distance of running? Running in general

What could the government, local authorities, sports clubs etc do to encourage more people to take up running and sport, especially overweight and inactive women? Incentives like park runs or perhaps some offering from local companies discounts in local shops on sporting goods or coffee houses etc

10891778_400604076772286_6691703798615854007_nWhat are the biggest barriers for plus sized women? Lack of motivation, physical barriers like bad knees, breathing issues, and depression its not easy to get out and run when you have all that going on.

What would you say to other runners just starting out? just pace yourself first, run to a spot then walk, run to a spot then walk. and so on build it gradually, and don’t worry what others may say, its you who are making the commitment.

What have you learned about yourself through running? That anything is possible and the Fat Girls Guide to Running has helped me realise I am not alone. I love the new merchandise too…trainers would be a good idea too!!

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