A village running club that started life a year ago as a collection of friends enjoying a sociable run has marked its first anniversary with three runners taking part in the London Marathon today (Sunday).
Balsall Common Run Club was formed by local personal trainer Paul Yeoman, of Personal Best Fitness, who recognised that while the village was full of runners at all times of the day and night, there was no local club in place to provide them with friendship and support.
Since its formation, many of the club’s members have gone from being total beginners to taking part in five and 10k races, half marathons and even the odd marathon or two. And now, on its first anniversary, three of the club’s members are in the final stages of preparation for the Virgin London Marathon on Sunday.
Club member Lorna Pursglove said: “Whilst I have run the London Marathon once before, I have really appreciated the support of Paul and other club members in helping me follow a sensible training plan this time round and really motivating me to keep going even during the ‘dark’ days.”
For another of the club’s members, Caroline Cannon, this is her very first marathon which she is running in aid of Hospice UK. Caroline said: “I joined the club for advice on how to build up distance and avoid injury but the support I have received from both Paul and other club members has delivered so much more than that.
“From sponsoring me, to running alongside me on training runs, members have really helped me believe that I can achieve this incredible challenge, despite not being the quickest runner in the club.”
For Paul, who ran his first marathon in Paris on April 3, the Virgin London Marathon will be the 653rd day of his charity-running streak.
Having started on July 13, 2013, which would have been his mum’s 67th birthday, Paul is running a minimum of one mile every day for 1,001 days in memory of his mum who died of breast cancer in 2001, raising much-needed funds for Cancer Research UK.
Paul said: “I am incredibly proud of the club and how far its members have come in such a short time. However, I would like to emphasise that the club is open to runners of all standards.
“In fact, we are starting beginners/rusty runner sessions in May to encourage more people to join us and like our current members benefit from the club’s help and support in achieving their running ambitions.”