Put your best foot forward

Those boots might be made for walking but these trainers are made for running.

I would never have imagined the words “running” and “fun” being in the same sentence but when intrigue got the better of me I decided to ‘sign up’ to the Rye Runners beginners class to see what it was all about. This was in January 2019, when life was relatively normal, and coach, Gareth McCully took us under his wing, assisted by his team of very patient and experienced trainers – and our journey began in earnest.

Most of us beginners were not interested in competition running, achieving personal best times, or winning races. We were there to get fitter, prove to ourselves that we could do it, and enjoy the camaraderie where nobody gets left out and nobody gets left behind. We were all equal despite having different levels of fitness and ability as we were a team.

It wasn’t all roses, and turning out on a freezing cold January morning is not everyone’s idea of heaven but, after the warm up session, we soon improved our body temperatures and just got on with it. And we stayed as a group for as long as possible until Covid struck when we were forced to temporarily disband, but were able to re-group when it was safe to do so earlier this year.

If you fancy giving it a go, then do it, and as an added incentive the beginners 10 week course, which starts on Saturday, May 22, is free! Funding has been secured to pay for the training and, take my word for it, the sessions are hard work, but they really are great fun, especially when Gareth is in top form as his sense of humour and constant encouragement gets you through, and at the end of each session you really do feel a sense of achievement and self belief, plus you meet the same lovely bunch of people each week.

Another bonus is the opportunity to explore areas you might not have realised existed as the runs take you along footpaths, bridal ways and across open fields with some stunning scenery along the way.

Sometimes covered in mud, sometimes soaked through, hot and sweaty, or blown inside out by the crosswinds but, despite all of this, its great fun and you really do feel better after doing it. It really doesn’t matter if you are the next Usain Bolt or a plodding back marker its the taking part which counts.

Secure your free place today by contacting Rye Runners on info@ryerunners.com.

Image Credits: Nick Forman .


  1. Great article Nick and love the photo of the trainers! It just shows you that once you have the confidence to get started exercise can not only improve your physical fitness, mental well being, help to meet new people and can be fun too!


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