Beginners to marathon runners
Back in October 2016 we (the team in Run4It Bridge of Allan) set up a beginners running group for people looking to do the first ever Stirling Scottish Marathon in May 2017. 25 people turned up on a cold Saturday morning to the first training session. At the time the marathon seemed like a distant dream for a lot of the group and the idea of running even 5k seemed a massive challenge. I remember saying to them “the day will come when a 10miler will be your short run!” At the time they laughed this off.
Each runner was given a strict training plan that I had designed based on my years’ of running marathons and doing JogScotland training. A community Facebook page was set up and the BofA run team was born!
Our BofA run team met every Saturday for the (at first, dreaded) long run and fast sessions were held on a Tuesday, soon dubbed ‘Speedy Tuesday’. It was all free and fully supported by myself and Run4It.
Every month, as a reward for all their hard work and training, our runners got a wee treat – ranging from a spa pass at the Dunblane Hydro, a free phsyio session, a ladies night in store, free nutrition and a recovery goodie bag. They had to endure a gruelling session as well now and again, with Tom one of my staff members taking them out for a challenging trail session in the hills, or a faster paced session with myself to push them further.
They all rose to the challenge through awful weather, injuries and doubt, supporting each other along the way and last Sunday, on the 21st of May they turned out for the inaugural Stirling Scottish Marathon and completed their first marathon!
Personally I was so proud of each and every one of them. It was amazing to see how far they had all come as runners. Although…. the stand out moment actually came 4 weeks before the marathon when I told them we were doing an easier 10mile run and the group commented on how short it felt, as I’d promised at the start!
Well we won’t be stopping there… that’s for sure! Our BofA run team have been asked to put together relay teams for the Ochil Ultra which is a 50mile race over the Ochils, off road in late September. In teams of 5 they will cover 10miles each on a challenging course and we’ve already got 2 teams lined up ready to take on the challenge. This is something none of the runners would ever have dreamt they’d been able to compete back on that cold Saturday morning in October 2016 – and testimony to how far they’ve come!
CONGRATULATIONS TEAM! YOU’RE ALL SUPERSTARS!
If you’re Stirling-based and interested in getting involved, you can find our community Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1737747636489590/ and visit, call or email the Run4It Bridge of Allan shop anytime for more information!