If you enjoy running or walking, Welton Runners could be for you! Whatever ability or age, you are welcome to join them every Saturday come rain or shine.
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Aswell as the weekly meet-up, some of the group took part in various activities throughout last year.
A few people who achieved some amazing goals have shared their experiences below.
Sally and Eugene are great motivators!
Last summer Sally mentioned starting a Couch to 5K – I (jokingly) said ‘so that means I need some new trainers’. I shouldn’t have said that!! I turned up on a Saturday morning last August, feeling so inadequate, to join the Welton Church Runners.
It was great! Lots of encouragement from everyone. It was so good to see people from Church and others, especially during this difficult time of the pandemic. Then a 5k was suggested, in aid of the Bristol Childrens Hospital (last November). I never thought I could/would do it. But did it!! Everyone cheering each other on. Two ladies from my Housegroup walked part of the route to shout encouragements and one of them had made a big banner. My family have been so excited to see my progress and donations started to come in, as well as a large anonymous donation (which came through the letterbox). I have some health challenges but have found that running/walking out regularly has helped in so many ways. I am so thankful.
Having established during lockdown one that running was useful to me for helping to momentarily counteract the heightened stress and anxiety in all aspects of life that Covid has bought us, I made it a priority in my schedule, mainly alone but sometimes, when circumstances permitted, with other Welton Runners. At the start of this year I set myself a challenge to run the distance of the South West Coast Path (632 miles) in order to raise money for the Alzheimer’s Society - my mum has enjoyed long distance path walking and I thought this was a suitable challenge to honour her.... within this I have also just recently run my first ever half marathon (a feat also achieved by mum many years ago!) and here I am celebrating at the finish line (my parents’ back gate!) with Judith who ran with me!
I have been involved with Welton Runners since pre-service runs began on Sundays from Somervale School. Not only was it a way to enjoy jogging with others but I could also see the scope for the friends and acquaintances of participants to be invited along and potentially hear about our faith. This indeed began to happen when the runs moved to Midsomer Norton Town Park - with every run beginning with prayer. In 2020 I ran more frequently each week and the first major challenge came in the autumn when Welton Runners participated in the Grand Appeal in aid of the Bristol Children's Hospital. I decided I'd try the half marathon distance - and was pleased to complete it in 2hrs 6mins. The photo was taken at the end of the run. The next challenge was the 12 day Christmas Challenge. Sally created a list of challenges and ways of earning points covering the last 12 days of 2020. I managed to run at least 5 kilometres on each of those days and boosted my point score further on some of them by running with others, running up Jack and Jill hill in Kilmersdon, running in the rain etc. etc. It was great fun and a wonderful way of enjoying God's creation along with others.
I started Couch to 5k to get fit and healthy. I had tried couch to 5k years ago but didn’t get very far as I ran too fast, so this time I was determined to complete it which also meant I had to slow down. The first couple of weeks were fine, I was running with the group and it was only 3 minutes of running at a time. Then lockdown 3 happened! I’m not the best at self-motivating but I carried on into week 4 and 5, running for 5 minutes, then 8 minutes, then came the big jump to 20 minutes. I remember thinking how am I going to run for 8 minutes, it was hard enough running for 5 minutes. I decided to pray through most of my runs and just when I thought 8 minutes was comfortable, I decided I had to go for the 20 minutes run. It was so hard but more mentally than physically, my shins were hurting but more than that I wanted to give up and walk all the way through that run, but I kept talking to God and I kept putting one foot in front of the other and slowed down so I could breathe and kept running. Something deep inside just gave me the strength to keep running, and I am so glad I did, because that run became a turning point for me, after that I ran for 25 minutes then 28 minutes, then 30 minutes with my furthest so far being 6 kilometres in 46 minutes. I can honestly say that any strength I have to run as far or as fast as I do comes from my Father in heaven. I do like the idea of trail runs and would love to do a 10k trail one soon but I have to be able to run 10k first.