April 30, 2015
We know the phrase a picture paints a thousand words right? Well a few weeks ago I stumbled across a picture of this fab lady on another running social media site and I was left with the dilema, do I contact her and ask her to feature in our hall of fame or not, as you never know how someone might take it, you know “oh I run a website for fat runners, would you like to feature?” I often think its only a matter of time before I offend someone…but I guess once you look through our catalogue of featured runners its easy to see that this is not about fatness but instead about awesomeness…so this month I would like to introduce you to the awesome Caz
So tell me a bit about yourself.
Hi, I am Caz O’Doherty and I am 39 a dress size 16 and live in Bristol
When did you start running and why?
I have put on a lot of weight in the last 2/3 years due to medication for my Crohns Disease and I saw a C25K course starting locally in Jan. I ran the Bristol 10km last year after training just once a week for 6 weeks. It took me 90 mins and put me off for a long while. I also attempted our local parkrun last summer- ran about 200 metres, burst into tears and ran away and hid. I joined the C25K group in January and have stuck to it! I run for fitness, mental health benefits (its quite depressing having a poo related disease!) and because I actually deep down enjoy running!! I have returned to the scary Parkrun and last Saturday did it with my husband and all of my 4 children (I’m trying not to care that they ALL beat me!)
Did you run a lot when you were younger?
I ran cross country for the school a couple of times and was very active as a teen- I was an army cadet for 8 years so very fit but then I had my first of my four children at the age of 21 and gained an unmovable stone with each baby!
What do you love and hate about the sport of running?
I love getting out in the open, I love the mates I have made through my running group, I love telling people I’m “a runner” and I love the feeling of exhilaration- when you’re bombing along and realise you are smiling and buzzing!
How often do you run?
3 times a week mainly around the 5km mark but hoping to push it up over the next 5 weeks leading to my next 10Km
Do you parkrun?
Yes Ashton Court
Have you taken part in any races?
I have done a couple of 5km Race for Life’s, and did the Bristol 10Km very very slowly. I’m doing the Bristol 10km again in 5 weeks time, the Womens Running 10km in the summer and am going to do the race for life again and run all the way
Have you had any negative experiences whilst out running? “Run Fatty Run” “Come on Fatty” and general cat calling of men in cars (urrrghhh what is their problem?)
What are your biggest fears/concerns/hangups about being a plus sized runner?
See above! and not looking the part – will people notice my muffin top? Will they laugh at my boobs being strapped down to submission? Do they think Im wasting my time running at this size?
What is your ultimate running goal and whats stopping you from getting there?
I would like to be faster and up my distances. Lack of confidence and self belief is a stumbling block. I have a goal in mind but I’m looking long term. To carry on running is my goal. Just carrying on running for me, by me, because of me!
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?
The This Girl Can promotion has been fantastic but I think we need to lead by example for our next generations of girls. I belong to a local running group (#thismumruns) and it is so supportive and inclusive. I recently trained as a Leader in Running Fitness through ThisMumRuns and I hope to encourage others to take up C25K training we will be facilitating to encourage more women to get involved regardless of size or shape
What are the biggest barriers for plus sized women?
Sports kit that fits properly, confidence, supportive groups
What would you say to other runners just starting out?
You can do it! You are a runner. You don’t need fancy socks, or a particular look – If you run you are a runner. I have learned through running that I am capable of more than I thought, and you will too.
Has the Fat Girls Guide to Running helped you in any way, if so how?
To find a group of women who look like me who are also passionate about running is priceless!