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I love our Runner of the Month feature as it really gives you a chance to get to know some of the incredible ladies we have in our community. I love it even more when I have actually met them in person, such is the case with this months featured runner Dundee based Dianne MacInnes.

This lady is as inspirational as they come. She made a decision to change her life, and in such a short time she did, with no fan fair or showing off, she just got stuck in and got on with the job at hand. I am so proud of this incredible lady, she is a massive asset to our community because I know she has inspired so many women to believe that they too can set and achieve massive goals.

Let’s get to know here a bit hey?


When did you start running and why? 

I started running in May 2016 as a size 22 lass deciding I wanted to be fitter and (more) fabulous at 40.  I had just under 12 months to my big birthday and decided to make a change! I also wanted something for myself apart from being a wife, mum and manager (I knew my work was going to be more stressful that ever!)

I had tried (and failed) to get into it a few times before –I know that without discovering The Clubhouse last summer that this would have also turned into another failed attempt!

I have a treadmill in the house that I had bought 10+ years ago and would get into it for a few weeks and then stop again! The 2nd time I was on the treadmill I was so busy trying to sort out the music on my phone that I fell off (big style!!) – at least I was at home so no-one was around to see me!

First 10K - August 2016

First 10km with Too Fat To Run? Crew

Did you run a lot when you were younger?

NO – exercise was never a big part of my life growing – I hated PE at school and liked ‘academic’ subjects much more than anything physical!

But I wanted to show my daughter that exercise isn’t just for kids/teenagers and that fitness should continue in later life!

* What a fab role model hey?

What do you love and hate about the sport of running?

I love the community of TFTR Clubhouse (I haven’t braved a ‘real’ running club yet!), the the challenge of races (I have discovered I am quite competitive – at least with myself – it can be a curse though as I never think I am good enough!) and the chance to ‘run’ away a bad day – I have found it’s been a great stress buster!

I hate the first 10 mins or so of every run and often wonder why I even got out there but it (nearly) always gets better and I love the feeling of finishing – that post workout shower is the best ever (assuming of course limited chaffing – which can make it the worse!).

How often do you run?

2-3 times a week is my aim but it depends on my running mojo (the post marathon blues means it has taken a hit but trying to get back out there more often!)

What kind of distances do you run in training?

It is right what they say about what seemed impossible – becomes a warm-up! When I first started off 1-2 miles was my limit! I have now completed training runs of 16+ miles but my average is 4-7 miles.

Do you parkrun? 

Yes – Camperdown Dundee (with some serious hills!!) – in fact I finished 20 out of 75 females last Saturday in a PB of 28.48!!  I have completed 14 parkruns in the last year (my Saturday mornings were taken over by VLM training runs) and I have PB’d each time (from 40.54 for my first one) – I think that’s the competitive side of me showing!!

I use parkruns are a race rather than a training run at present and love seeing improvements!

Flat Dianne - VLM

Flat Dianne night prior to VLM

We know you recently took part in a Marathon, could you tell us about your experiences with training, motivation etc.

I would never have contemplated a marathon without Julie and the Clubhouse and now I can say I have run a marathon (it’s still so surreal that I can’t quite believe it’s true).

Training was tough – not just the time commitment but the fear of the unknown (fueling, chaffing, ‘the wall’ to name a few!)

The Clubhouse support was invaluable and no question is ever seen as a silly one!!  I got ‘runners knee’ 2 months before VLM so with the help of the Clubhouse lovelies discovered KT tape!

VLM 2017

VLM Finish Line

I also learned that a “tourist” race is hard – we spend 7 hours walking around London the day before which wasn’t ideal as it was my daughter’s first trip and she wanted to see the sights!!

Have you had any negative experiences whilst out running?

I had one group of lads shout comments from their car once and I would have normally given up and gone home but I kept going!

It definitely affected how I felt heading out the next few times but overall the support from friends, family and colleagues has been good.

I have noticed though that male runners overall seem more friendly and more likely to say Hi– not sure why!


What are your biggest fears or hangups about being a plus sized runner? (although clearly you are not plussized anymore)

What other people think! I am my worse critic and often think that even when I get compliments that people don’t really mean it!

That you “don’t fit in” – I hate that my local running shop only seems to stock to a size 14 and even then maybe only ever has 1-2 items in that size!  It is such a freeing experience and one that everyone should be able to do – and get the right gear to do it in – easily!!!

I still very much feel like an imposter in the outside world but a runner in the Clubhouse!

What is your ultimate running goal and what is stopping you from getting there?

It was to do the London marathon – it’s something I always watched on the TV and fancied doing but never really thought I would/could.

It is now to ‘keep going’, challenging myself and overall enjoying it.  I haven’t (as yet) ruled out or signed up for another marathon!

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

Just getting out there!

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?

Imagery is so important – walking into a running shop for the first time is hard and when it’s full of images of half-naked size 8 women it makes it even harder!

What are the biggest barriers for plus sized women?

That “voice” in our heads – we are still our own worse critics!

Luckily, my ‘voice’ has now been replaced by that of the great Clubhouse warriors (Liza Vallence, Henna-Sisko Warner, Linda Sharp, Jennifer Crofts to name just a few!) and when I am struggling I think about what they would say to me and it keeps me going!!

Half Marathon April 2017

Half Marathon April 2017

What would you say to other runners just starting out?

Give it a go and enjoy it!  Challenge yourself but don’t expect too much too quickly.  It is very much a “journey”

If you run (whatever the pace or distance), you are a RUNNER and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise!!!

What have you learned about yourself through running?

I am more stubborn that I realised!

How has being a member of the Clubhouse helped you in any way, if so how?

The support in the Clubhouse is invaluable and I know I won’t have achieved in a year what I have without it!

If you know an incredible runner who deserves some recognition drop us a line at help@toofattorun.co.uk 

For more regular inspiration why not join our tribe of plus size runners over in The Clubhouse, our unique online running club especially designed for women like you. 

It is a great time to join as we have loads of things coming up and a range of fabulous new challenges. 

Click here for more info and to sign up


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