Meet the Leaders

Helen Graham

Helen Graham

What made you join FM?

I wanted to join a running club but as a slower runner didn't feel some of the other running clubs would suit me. I had heard good things about the way fitmums work to support runners of all abilities so I took the plunge one night in May in 2014 and went along to East Hull fitmums after trying it out I found I enjoyed it lots and was over the moon to find out that Hedon was getting a fitmums as its closer for me to get to!

What was your original goal?

My original goal was to gain more confidence in my running ability and to improve as a runner. Even though I have ran on and off for 10 years I never saw myself as a runner and really wanted to get better at it! I also wanted to make new friends and share my running experiences with other people who could offer me advice and support my running dreams.

What else have you done?

Since joining fitmums I have joined the run leader team which has been one of the most rewarding experiences. For me, sharing running with others is a humbling experience and shows me that we can all achieve whatever we put our minds to. I have learned that everyone has something to offer and we can all help each other.

What are you planning for next year?

I have trained for and ran The Virgin Money London Marathon which was a huge challenge for me; going from 5k to marathon in 24 weeks. Now I want to get back to basics and improve my strength and form to help me run faster over shorter distances. I am signing up for a few local races especially the ones with lots of other fitmums as I like to share my race experiences!

What would you tell someone who was thinking about joining FM?                                                                                         

I would say go along - don't be afraid, everyone is welcome at fitmums and if you are just starting out or are a super experienced runner you can gain so much from Fitmums and Fitmums need you! Who knows where your running journey will take you?

Michelle

What made you join Fitmums & Friends?   

I joined Fitmums after taking part in the Withernsea Santa run in 2016. I got talking to a couple of people and became friends on Facebook after the run. I took part in Beverley 10k and saw the Fitmums group photo being taken and wished I was part of it! (I went along to my first Fitmums session the day after the race and despite it being my first time I was invited to have the group photo with my finishers tshirt) After watching the support they had on the course of that race and the support that was given to me before joining Fitmums on the Santa run, I knew it was the club I wanted to be part of!

What was your original goal? 

My original goal was to get some of my confidence back and make friends. After having three children and moving from Manchester, I'd found it difficult to make friends due to my lack of confidence.

What else have you done?  

I decided to throw myself into the club and take part in the leaders course, a couple of years ago I'd barely talk to anyone. Now I have no problem striking up conversation with other people. Less than a year after starting a couch to 5k I took part in the Hull Marathon. I would never have even contemplated it had it not been from the encouragement and support from the friends I'd made at Fitmums. I've taken part in various other races and achieved great times, however, some of the best races have been spent running with Fitmums friends and supporting each other from start to finish. I have also completed my first ultra marathon at an endurance event which is my new found love which is better known as HOTH (Hell On The Humber)

What are you planning for the year ahead?

In 2018 I plan to have a bit of fun and try some new races that are a bit different from the usual road races. I have a headtorch run, mud run and various other races lined up. I'm also hoping to develop and fall in love with trail running, who doesn't like to get muddy? I'll also be back to tackle Hull marathon again this year as the support on the course for Fitmums was amazing.

What would you tell someone who was thinking about joining FM?  

I would tell them to absolutely come along! You can be steady or speedy, a seasoned runner or brand new. You might want to just get out of the house for a bit of time to yourself! It doesn't matter, every single person is made to feel welcome and part of the club from the get-go.

PETER

What made you join Fitmums & Friends?   

I joined Fitmums due to My good friend Laura Wilkins . We had been running together a few times, laura was already a member of Hedon Fitmums and she suggested I join. I was a bit sceptical at first being a bloke but after laura had pestered me more I went along and realised it wasn’t just mums but men too! I met Helen there and she asked Laura and I if we wanted to lead and help set up Withernsea Fitmums- I have never looked back and love it!

What was your original goal? 

My goal at the time of joining Fitmums was to improve my running and to run hull 10k within an hour which I have now achieved thanks to everyone at Fitmums. 

What else have you done?  

I have become a run leader, it is so rewarding being able to help people on their running journeys as people did when I first joined. I have also become a member of team Santa run which as become a firm favourite on the running calendar.

What are you planning for the year ahead?

I have many runs planned but my ultimate aim is to complete my first marathon!

What would you tell someone who was thinking about joining FM?  

Just do it you won’t regret it!

FELICITY 

What made you join fitmums?

I'd always loved the thought of running but I’d never took it much further then a half attempted run down the road. I’d heard of Fitmums a few times but I just didn’t have the confidence to walk through the door, plus that same old “oh I can’t run” scenario! My friend had been coming a couple of weeks and I asked her if I could come along with her (safety in numbers!) and I’ve never looked back.

What was your original goal?

I’d been coming for a couple of months when I signed up for the Withernsea Fitmums 5K Santa run. By that point it would of been the longest I had ran, and was a very big achievement for me at the time. That was my first big goal which I did 3 months after joining, but my biggest goal from there was doing the Hull 10k the year after for the first time which I’d signed up for to keep me motivated to carry on.

What else have you done?

Since joining Fitmums I have ran a few 10k races, challenging myself personally by doing Hull 10k 2018 under an hour (my biggest 10k achievement) I have ran half marathons, 10 mile races, and just recently I ran 21 miles at my first endurance race. This is all down to the amazing support I have made from friends who are also part of Fitmums and without them I wouldn’t be where I am now.

What are you planning for the year ahead?

My next big adventure in running is to get a marathon (or two!) under my belt. I am in the draw for London and that would be a dream to be able to run! I am just planning on keeping my running going regularly with more long distance races in the coming future my biggest aim.

What would you tell someone thinking about joining fitmums?

You won’t regret it! I have been a Fitmums member for nearly 2 years now and I can not describe how much my life has improved and changed. I have suffered with anxiety and depression issues in the past year and with the support of my Fitmums friends and running I have managed to overcome a lot of obstacles in my way. Along with improving my mental wellbeing, I have never felt fitter and healthier then I do now. I would be lost without my running network and it is what keeps me going, I have made the most amazing friends who I am so lucky to have in my life and this is all down to nervously walking through the door that first night and signing up! Who knew where my running journey would take me but it’s been a fantastic journey and one that will carry on for a long time.