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I have always believed that having a race in the diary is THE best way of motivating yourself to run and to stick to a training plan, but what do you do if you are not quite ready for an actual race, or the thought of running with other people scares the living hell out of you? What if you want to run an event but on your terms?

Well then you sign up for a virtual race.

In 2013 after having my daughter I was desperate to get back into my running, but I was too unfit to complete a 5k and too embarrassed by my post baby body to be seen running in a formal setting, however without a race coming up it was difficult to find the motivation to run consistently…and that is where the idea for One Big Fat Run came from.

I wonder if there is a race specifically for Fat people? I thought

or

An event I can do on my own but still get some recognition from

10415626_10152481464357806_3856239444461005748_nThe first event took place in August 2013, was promoted via social media and a grand total of 174 ladies took part, and as I looked at the post event photos and comments from the ladies who had gained so much from the event I realised this concept could have massive effect across the globe.

And my goal to get 1 million overweight women running was born.

The event has gone from strength to strength since with an estimated 2000 runners taking part in total, with many of these ladies going on to take part in “proper” race events such as parkrun, race for life and local 5ks. The sense of community, the monthly commitment and its inclusive approach means that women real get it and enjoy taking part with many women now having taken part in 8 or 9 events in the 18 months it has been going.

But I am still a long way off my target and often ladies have questions about the rules or how to get involved so I figured it was about time to do some FAQs…so here we go…

10411984_316642681845008_7565144272400398492_nSo what exactly  is it? One Big Fat Run is a virtual run specifically designed for plussize women, and those new to exercise.

How does a virtual run work? Its basically a run where you can take part wherever you are in the world. You commit to it publicly, you complete it and then you brag about it

When does it take place? The last Sunday of the month, although if for any reason you can’t do the Sunday we are quite laid back about you doing at some point that weekend.

How much does it cost to take part? Its FREE

Why is it FREE? Because I want other Fat women to enjoy the sport of running and I am passionate about doing events.

How far is it?Five kilometres, which is 5000 meters or 3.1 miles.

10479159_782809671754004_3702900008544702805_nDo I need to run it all? We would like you to cover the distance if you can, but you can walk, jog, run or do a combination of all three if you like.

I don’t think I would be able to cover the distance For most people it is likely that you already cover 5Ks within your daily life, walking the kids to school or pottering around the shops at the weekend. Even if you are a slow walker it shouldn’t take you more than 2 hours to get around a 5K course, for the average person it is likely to be about an hours worth of walking.

I seriously don’t think I will be able to do the distance Then just get out and do what you can, even if that is just a walk around the block. Remember to consult your doctor if you have any health conditions or are completely new to exercise

Do I have to do it outside? No, you can do it on a treadmill if you have the use of one, or even in your back yard if you have a way of measuring the distance

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Can I do it with other people? Yes, please do. Why not take the kids, invite your friends or even your work colleagues, the more the merrier. We don’t even mind if your four legged friends join in.

But I can do it alone right? Yes, and we know that many of you prefer to do it that way.

Is it a race? Nope, we don’t care about times and you are not competing against anyone else this event is simply about completing the distance.

1383315_631627946871736_1599643479_nIs it just for women? The event is targeted at women, but we don’t mind men joining in as long as they don’t take over and start bossing us about

Do I have to be FAT to take part? Nope. The event is FAT friendly but ultimately this event is not about size but rather about doing something on a supersize international scale. A unique running event that everyone can take part in regardless of their weight or fitness levels.

How do I sign up? At the moment it is all done via a Facebook event, but in the future we may decide to get you to sign up via our website so that we can communicate with you more effectively. If you do not have Facebook you can still take part and share your experiences via Twitter, Instagram or any other social media platform.

Do I need a race number? We have one available for you to print out and wear if you like, but everyone wears the number #001 but it is not mandatory, more for fun because remember this is not a race.

10991343_701444146639872_7497798325594633857_nWill I get a medal? We haven’t issued medals so far, but there has been a lot of interest in offering them so in April to support the fundraising efforts of the Fab 5 (5 of our ladies) running the London Marathon we will be trialing the option of having a medal which will be available to purchase at a cost of £15 including P&P with a donation going to the Ron Pickering Foundation.

Do I need a special T-shirt We do have T-shirts and other running apparel for sale via our websites shop which helps support the Too Fat to Run campaign but you can wear whatever you like.

I am taking part in another event that day, can I double up Yes, there is no reason why you can’t include 5K of any race you are taking part in as your #OneBigFatRun result.

How do I prove I have done it? You can post a picture of yourself, your route, your trainers or your sports run to the Facebook event page…the most important person who needs to know how you did is YOU.

1545762_10153909059955727_1378608234_nWhat kind of people already take part? From what I see on social media it’s about 99.9% women, and women of all shapes and sizes, ages and ethnicities. We have had women take part on every continent in the world which kind of blows my mind.

Why is this event important? This is not about getting Fat people to exercise, this is about providing a safe event for everyone to try out running without the pressure of having to be any good at it. In the UK for example there are already lots of opportunities to run a regular 5K but often overweight or inactive women feel intimidated by the faster slimmer runners, and quite often we are bamboozled by the rules…we don’t want to look stupid.

What can I do to help the event grow Talk about it to your friends and family, share information about it via social media and basically dispel any myths people have about the sport of running and how much fun taking part in this can be each month.

Over the next few months I would love to see the numbers grow for this event as I am working with a number of partners in the UK to look at the possibility of the concept being rolled out into a series of actual 5k events that compliment the virtual side of things…who knows how big it could end up.

But we need to prove that its needed.

So come on ladies sign up, share with your contacts and lets show the world that Fat women want to and can run 5k events.

Check out some of our previous events, and see what ladies are saying about their involvement

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