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This girl can... run Race for Life

Georgia Collins tells how she trained for - and completed - her first 5k run

Andy Murrill

Georgia Collins


01635 886625

This girl can... run Race for Life

A  couple of months ago, on a evening in which I can only conclude that I had temporarily taken leave of my senses, I voluntarily signed up to put my fitness to the test and run a 5k race. 

To a serious runner this distance is a walk in the park, but a serious runner I am not, and I had a lot of work ahead if I wanted to achieve my new-found goal. 

I considered myself fairly fit, as I work out at the gym and play tennis, but I went out for a run and it was like someone had poured treacle into my lungs and still expected me to coordinate breathing with moving. 

I’m not sure how some people manage to look effortless and amazing while running, but I came back a sweaty, panting mess. 

Surprisingly, once my body had got over the shock of running for more than just a bus, I wanted to go out again. 

A fantastic aid for new runners is the NHS app Couch To 5k, it is like having a personal trainer in your pocket without much of an outlay.

The app takes you through a week-by-week programme specifically designed to enable new runners to build up their fitness at their own pace, with the goal being to run 5k by the end. 

I wasn’t at all sure what to estimate for my time in the race, but I was hoping to complete it in around 45 minutes. 

Race day came around  and I donned a pink top to unite with a couple of thousand other runners who were all there to help beat cancer sooner.

All around me there were a sea of pink clad ladies, and it was both great and slightly emotional at the same time, as most people had been touched by cancer in some way, whether it had affected themselves or a loved one. 

The race was held at Newbury Showground, and I don’t think I could have picked a better venue or even nicer weather on the day. 

The course was quite flat with a graduation here and there which didn’t prove too challenging, and the marshals were really encouraging. 

I managed to run the 5k in 43 minutes and 50 seconds, which knocked one minute and 10 seconds off my target finish time. 

I had such a great experience with my first race, that I am already googling 10k races… this girl can.

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