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Carol Holmes, Snail Runners

After my daughter passed away I lost a lot of self-confidence and took comfort in food, particularly chocolate! I realised after three years of comfort eating I needed to focus on my health for the sake of my family. As a family we would go and do Park Run on Saturday mornings but I really struggled to walk the distance let alone run, so I joined the West Hull Ladies Running Club because they ran a couch to 5K programme For Two years I attempted this and failed, so I gave myself one last chance but asked if I could do the programme over 12 weeks rather than 6, thank goodness they agreed because it worked, I finally succeeded and I felt great, but I was a very slow runner and found that I was too slow to join in with the club runs. I was aware that there were a few others that struggled with pace so we arranged to meet and run/walk across the Humber Bridge on an ad hoc basis.

I wanted to inspire others in a similar situation who needed to do simple exercise for their health. I wanted other women to not be put off by their size or speed and make sure that everyone really did have the opportunity to go running. So I attended my Leadership in Running Fitness qualification. The qualification allows me to safely lead running sessions and I set up my group called Snail Runners. I now volunteer, leading my group of Snails three times a week. Our runs comprise of 1 minute walking and two minutes running. The group is part of West Hull Ladies and is aimed at women who are slow runners who want to get faster, new runners and women who want to run slow and not feel pressured.

As a result of this my club voted me Member of the Year and I won the True Grit Award for not giving up. I still struggle, exercise doesn't come easy, but I believe that I can inspire women because I understand and share that struggle. The Snail Runners continues to grow so please join us, the slower the better.!

For more information please visit: Snail Runners