On the run in the villages

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A GROUP of novice runners in Upwell and Outwell are leading the way when it comes to demonstrating how people can really make a difference in their own lives by taking a few positive steps.

In September 2009 Kate Davies, the Borough Council of King’s Lynn and West Norfolk’s Rural Sports Coach, organised a Beginners’ Running Course for Women in Upwell and Outwell. A group of novice female runners started road running and 18 months later the results have proved remarkable.

From an original course number of 18 ladies, 12 carried on meeting up to run weekly. A club was formed – the Up and Out Ladies’ Running Club – and two more have since joined.

Individual members have tried their own challenges. Haidee Norman and Catherine Dewdney took part in the 2010 East Anglia Run, a 10k event at King’s Lynn and Haidee went on to take part in a half marathon. Donna Johnson joined Caroline Goodchild in the Three Peaks Challenge, Lou Mayer took part in a sprint triathlon at Fritton Lake and the club took part en-mass in a Race for Life in July at Houghton Hall.

The year finished on a high with the club organising its own 5k race around Upwell.

Lou Mayer, club organiser, said: “The beginners course was so enjoyable for all of us, nothing too exhausting. We were allowed to build up at a slow pace and by the end of it were amazed at the progress we’d all made.

“We all got on well so it seemed very natural to carry on running each week and form our own club. We all have great fun and still remain sensitive to everyone’s differing abilities.

“On a club night we’ll always ensure that no one ever gets left behind or runs on their own.

“Before the course none of us could have imagined running a 10k or taking part in the Three Peaks! The progress of some of the girls has been amazing.

“We also welcome something local being available; often you have to travel to find groups like ours.”

The success of the Up and Outs follows previous successes.

The Borough Council’s Beginners Courses for Women continue in the New Year.

For further details contact the Sports Development Unit on 01553- 818017 or email sports.development@west-norfolk.gov.uk.