Leeds Girls Can Run!

Nick Smith

As we basked in the heatwave I am casting my mind back to a cold, dark Monday in January… I sat nervously in the new Bike Hub in Middleton waiting for the 24 ladies who had signed up to the Leeds Girls Can Couch to 5km programme. I needn’t have worried, by 6.30pm almost 50 brand new runners had arrived!


The next 9 weeks were tough, we ran in all weathers and watched the nights slowly get lighter each week. Every single runner showed incredible determination and commitment to the programme. Many of the runners were joining us for our two Leeds Girls Can sessions in the week and completing a third solo run. The effort paid off and by the 9thweek everyone was jogging for 30minutes.


“As a new member to the running group (3 runs under my belt) I can honestly say I LOVE it! Its a great group to run with and everyone is so welcoming.” ~ Sarah


Fast forward to today and our group approaches it’s 6-month birthday (yes, it’s a thing!), we now have a group who are finally calling themselves runners and I couldn’t be more proud. Many of our members have never run before, or have taken time out due to injury and illness. Each person has their own reason for joining and their own goals to achieve, but together as a group they are a force to be reckoned with.


“I like that every session is completely different and varied so it’s not boring and that there’s no pressure when you’re the newbie at the back and everyone just loops back and sticks together” ~ Tara


One of the things that makes me most proud is how welcoming the group has become and I know this is one of the things our runners most enjoy. Everyone is welcomed and instantly made to feel like an old friend. We chat our way around Middleton and support each other when we find the sessions tough. 


“The inclusivity of this group is what makes it so special” ~Clare


Being an ambassador for Leeds Girls Can means that for me breaking down the barriers to an active lifestyle is at the heart of every session we run, something which has been embraced by every leader who has so generously given their time to us, and every member of our group.


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