Don’t get alarmed, no animal suffered in any way as a result of this article but fellow reporter Seana Lanigan and yours truly were two of the new “lambs” who enlisted with 38 others for the Rye Runners beginners’ course last Saturday. 40 new recruits is a terrific start and just illustrates how many people regard getting fitter as being a priority.
The weather was beautiful, cold but sunny, perfect for the task in hand as we began to head towards the Tilling Green Community centre. 10:30am was the agreed meeting time, many arrived early in order to complete their registration forms and pay their £10 registration fee which covers the whole ten week course, good value for money!
The meeting room was a buzz of excitement, filled with a mixture of a few seasoned runners, many “newbies”, past runners overcoming recent injuries and our team of instructors and trainers. One thing was obvious, in amongst the anxiety, the fear of what awaited us and the embarrassment of wearing running gear which showed every bump and fold, there was a distinct air of excitement and determination.
We were given a briefing by the course leader, Gareth McCully then before we knew it, he and his team of trainers herded us out to the field opposite the community centre where we split into two groups of 20 and the fun began. Yes it was fun, really! We competed as teams with games and specific tasks but at no time did any of us feel under pressure to do anything we didn’t want to or couldn’t do, nobody got left out or left behind, we were a team and worked as one, helping and encouraging each other.
The fun continued for an hour or so then we did our warm down exercises before heading back to the community centre for a cuppa and a biscuit. I must admit, I was one of many who didn’t quite know what to expect but any fears were quickly put aside as from the first five minutes, Gareth and his team put us all at ease. They were a fantastic bunch and the whole occasion was made so enjoyable with Gareth’s sense of humour and infectious enthusiasm.
Unfortunately I was unable to take as many photographs as I would have done normally, wearing lycra has its advantages, its easy to wear, warm and dries quickly if you get soaked however my gear lacked pockets, those it had were too small to put my trusted phone in so I couldn’t take any photos. Now I know why runners wear bum bags or have pockets in the back of their running tops, we live and learn, there’s method in their madness.
I was expecting to be as stiff as a board the following morning but no, to my surprise I felt fine and I’m looking forward to next Saturday at 10:30am when the fun begins again. At the end of the day, getting fitter cant be a bad thing but if you combine it with a bit of fun, and with like minded individuals prepared to give it a go it makes it so more enjoyable and I can see that as the course progresses (assuming we all stay the course), we should make new friends along the way. Well done Gareth and your team, see you next week.
Image Credits: Nick Forman , Rye News Library , Running Forever .