Deeside running club’s annual event cancelled but members have keept busy during pandemic
A Deeside-based running club has kept busy within the community during the pandemic although its events have been cancelled for the foreseeable future.
Deestriders, a running club with seventy members, would normally be preparing for next year’s annual ‘Couch to 5k’ but plans have halted due to COVID-19
The club have however been able to organise other ‘smaller’ events in order to keep active as a group.
One of their members, Christine Cammillare, had organised a ‘rolling relay’.
In turns, two teams attempted to see how far they could run in 19 minutes whilst carrying novelty batons and sometimes wearing fancy dress, capturing the attention and imaginations of the passing public.
Other members also came together to sponsor animals at both Welsh Mountain Zoo and Chester Zoo, their choices reflecting the group’s diversity in running pace and motto of “leave no one behind”.
A cheetah, sloth, tortoise, mountain goat, gecko and emu were adopted and, when sessions were allowed to resume after the first lockdown, these events became a ‘natural continuity’.
The club welcomed new members in this period.
Bonnie Knox joined near the beginning of 2020 and says she would have given up running when lockdown started if it were not for Deestriders who she describes as “a family which is so encouraging”.
Another, Katie Roberts, joined during the summer.
“Joining the club was the best decision I have made,” she said.
“Everyone is so supportive – you aren’t judged for how quick or slower than others you are, and it’s improved my running and pace.
“I can’t wait to see what time I will get at the 2021 London Marathon – it’s also made such an improvement on my mental health as I really struggled through lockdown.”
Katie also managed to recruit her friend, Tracey Nield, who had decided over lockdown to get back into running and found herself enjoying the sessions.
She said: “It’s a great, fun way to train, meet people and share experiences and tips for training.”
Paul Collins had also joined after wanting to lose weight.
Despite finding it difficult at having never run before, he persevered and by week nine of the ‘Couch to 5k’ programme was able to finish in under 36 minutes.
Having lost three stone from the starting weight of 22 stone so far, Paul wants to lose another three more whilst getting faster and completing a 10k race.
“You’ve made me feel so welcome,” he told Deestriders. “I’m enjoying every minute.”
Paul wants to encourage others, hoping they will look at his example and think ‘if he can do it, then so can I.’
Deestriders offer training sessions to those who are able to run 5k on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday nights and, subject to COVID-19 restrictions, are currently inviting those interested to a free trial period until 2020 sessions end for Christmas.
Contact them via firstname.lastname@example.org for more details and, to find out more, visit www.deestridersrunningclub.net Spotted something? Got a story? Send a Facebook Message | A direct message on Twitter | Email: News@Deeside.com