This Sunday (13th April), twelve local women from the Sole Sisters running club will be lining up to run the London Marathon, five of them for the very first time.
Penny Greenwood, Liz Naude, Linda Millward, Amy Seymour, Rebecca Mitchell, and Kate Stuart will be joined by first-time marathon runners, Helen Smith, Jo Radford, Lisa Morris, Leona Mills, Michelle Lord and Sam Carpenter.
Local sports & remedial massage therapist Kate described herself as being a reluctant runner or a “should run” kind of runner before she discovered Sole Sisters Running Club. Christmas Eve 2011 she went along for her first run with the group where she was welcomed with much kindness, support and encouragement. Shortly after this she did the London Marathon in April 2012 and has since become a coach at the club. This year she will be running London for the 3rd time for Heart UK in memory of her dad John Baker.
Penny ran her first marathon in 2010 to raise money for St Peter’s Hospice who had cared for her mother during her final year. At age 50 her mother turned her life around, passed a degree in chiropody and started her own business which she loved doing for over 20 years. She told Penny: “Do whatever you love for as long as you can.” Penny runs because she loves it and the amazing group of Sole Sisters that she runs with. Penny says: “We share everything – it is our outlet for life.” To date she has raised over £4,000 for St Peter’s and will continue for as long as she can.
Liz started running with Sole Sisters four years ago with a half marathon as her goal. She never imagined running a marathon, let alone lining up at London this year to run her second marathon in two years. She describes the support and encouragement from the club as being fantastic and the thing that has kept her going on those cold Saturday morning runs. Liz is running for Shine Together a local Frenchay/Southmead hospital charity.
Local teacher Leona was treated for a heart condition in 2010 and during pre op checks it was discovered her thyroid was no longer working properly, causing her to gain weight, feel lethargic, and lose confidence. In June 2012, she felt she needed to make a change and joined the Sole Sisters Running club on the beginner’s course. Just two years on, 4 stone lighter, fitter and happier, she is training to run the London Marathon for the British Heart Foundation in memory of her dad, who died suddenly at the age of 53.
The club welcomes women runners of all abilities and ages from 16 upwards. 70-80 women regularly attend their Monday evening club night run and additional informal runs are offered on a Weds & Sat. The next beginners’ group starts on 19th May 2014 – see www.solesistersrc.co.uk for more info.
Photo: Sole Sisters RC members entered in the 2014 London Marathon (clockwise from top left): Kate Stuart, Penny Greenwood, Liz Naude and Leona Mills.
This article originally appeared in the April 2014 edition of the Bradley Stoke Journal news magazine, delivered FREE, EVERY MONTH, to 9,450 homes in Bradley Stoke, Little Stoke and Stoke Lodge. Phone 01454 300 400 to enquire about advertising or leaflet insertion.
Related link: Bradley Stoke 10k Run (The Journal)
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