More than 25 people have achieved a Run-tastic goal of completing the first Active West Lancs Couch to 5K programme in Skelmersdale.
The aim was to encourage complete beginners to start running and build up enough stamina over 12 weeks to be able to complete 5k at the end of the programme.
About 70 people started the programme and at the beginning a lot of the runners were nervous as to what they were signing up for. But with the help and motivation from run leaders and volunteers, the runners committed to two sessions a week and gradually went from small beginnings in week one to a continuous 35-45 minute run in week 12.
The runners showed sheer grit, determination and team spirit, and more than 25 completed and successfully ran the 5k at the end of the programme.
Only a few days after completing the programme 10 runners, with encouragement from run leaders, took part in their first ever organised 5k event and completed the course.
One person who used the scheme said it was an ‘Amazing 12 weeks – the Run Leader was great and so encouraging – there’s nothing to be scared of and they make you feel at complete ease!’
Another said it was an ‘Excellent scheme. Great for those new to running like me!’
Councillor Yvonne Gagen, portfolio holder for Leisure, said: “We are so proud of all the runners and have encouraged them to continue running by taking part in the weekly Park Run at Edge Hill University on Saturday mornings. Even those who did not complete the 12-week programme will hopefully have experienced some health benefits, depending on how long they were on the course.
“We would like to thank Our Lady Queen of Peace Engineering College for allowing us to use their facilities free of charge.”
After the success of the Skelmersdale programme, the next Couch to 5k programme will start at Lordsgate Township CE Primary School, Burscough on Monday 11 September, 6-7pm. Please register online at www.runtogether.co.uk.
To find out more about Active West Lancs visit www.activewestlancs.org, or call 01695 555804, or you can email firstname.lastname@example.org.
To find out more about fitness activities and facilities across the borough please visit www.westlancs.gov.uk/leisure.