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More people can do this course than think they can.

I thought I would say thank you to everyone in the Thursday Chingford 0-5k group. The coaches, mentors and fellow participants, you have all done your bit to make me realise how worthwhile it has been.

Life has been a bit hard recently; my dad passed away just before the course started and then we lost our special friend, Julie {Julie Strelley Jones, RTB Mentor}, in the same week.

Julie was an incredible mentor and was part of the reason I started the course. Her guts and determination got me talking to Paul Sinton-Hewitt [Founder of Parkrun and left in the photograph] about her when he was speaking at a weekend of lectures I went to last year.

I think at that point I wondered for the first time ever if I would be able to run a 5k. I mentioned this to a few people and then I won a raffle prize at a fundraiser for Julie and the lovely Liz Worrall [RTB Community Member] picked the Run to be vouchers for me and told me I had no excuse!

I was nervous as I am a chronic asthmatic with fixed airways. My peak flow is usually around 180 and it’s why I make funny noises when I run I think. During the RTB course I was told by my asthma nurse that the fixed airways are now being regarded as COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease)

Also my lung age is 87 - a whole 30 years older than the rest of me! But telling you this, is me saying that with amazing encouragement and a bit of determination, more people can do this course than think they can.

Let’s encourage more of them, together!

So, to finish, just a few special thank yous from me to the amazing Karen Darnborough and Karoline Lye [RTB Mentors] for chatting away when I couldn’t. And to Vicky who encouraged me as much as the mentors and who, with me, made 2 runners a running group.

You are all top people who got an absolute and total non runner to run 5k!

And lastly, just so you know, my peak flow tonight is 220, that’s mahoosive for me!

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