Meet the Leaders

Becky Wahl

Becky Wahl

What made you take up running?

From the age of 10 I was classed as morbidly obese and had tried absolutely everything to lose weight unsuccessfully. In 2009 I became a mum and didn't want to be an overweight mum with health risks and a shorter life span, when it was found that our family is a high cancer risk and the consultant said I could potentially lower my chances of getting cancer by losing weight and living healthy it all just clicked into place and I decided to start running.

What made you join FM?

The lovely Hannah at York council told me that Fitmums and friends were looking for a team to set up in York and I jumped at the chance to be involved.

What was your original goal?

I set myself the goal in 2012 to run a marathon, which I did in 2013. I'd always done a bit of run walking in the past, quite a few laughed at me which gave me more determination to succeed.

What else have you done?

I've completed 6 marathons, 1 ultra marathon and more half marathons and 10k's than I can count. I lost 6.5 stone in the process and now work in the fitness industry.

What are you planning for next year?

2018 is a reset year for me, I’m currently nursing an old injury so we will see where the year takes me...

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

Do it, we really are a running club with a difference, we are not scary. We are friendly and support all of our runners whether their individual goal is to run a mile or a marathon. There is no better way to make friends and get fitter in the process 

Nikki Hanson

What made you take up running?

I started running because the gym had a pool/jacuzzi/sauna etc so had to do something before using the other facilities.

What was your original goal?

I set myself a challenge of running Scarborough seafront (where I lived) as everyone seemed to do that, I then entered Race for Life 5K Scarborough in May 2009. I finished that exhausted but buzzing from the thrill of completing a challenge. Not knowing my miles from my kms I entered the Great North Run 2009, a huge challenge but I did it because I am stubborn & didn't want to let myself down,13.1 miles later I cried!

From a none runner to a half marathon in around a year I was totally thrilled. I have never before been a runner or even exercised before, I smoked, drank and suffered a bad back to a point some days I could not walk when getting up without a stick to support, sometimes been laid up for a few days. I don't smoke, I do drink but I don't have any back problems anymore.

What else have you done?

I now run any distance, 5k 10k 10 mile, half marathons, full marathons, ultra’s 30 mile & 55 mile.

For 3 years in a row, I got a place at London Marathon under the GFA (Good for Age) what an amazing experience and 'how the heck did I get there??'

I love road and off road running especially for the freedom and the scenery that you see, that you would otherwise miss in the car/walking.

What made you join FM?

I joined FM as I wanted to pass on my experiences and tips from trial and error along the way. I also wanted to encourage others to set goals and go for it & share the joy and freedom that I get from running.

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

I would encourage anyone thinking of starting running, wanting company on runs or want to push themselves harder to come along and join in the groups at FM. It is a very sociable group, many of its members have become very close friends through it, entered races they never dreamed of and achieved goals they never thought possible and this makes me very happy and proud.

ALI WATSON

(known for her funky leggings)

What made you take up running?

I had always thought I was not a runner but when I saw Becky waving her placard on the first night something told me to give it a try.

What made you join FM?

I used to sit on the sofa watching my son on the climbing wall but when FMs started sessions at the same time I thought I could use my time better!

What was your original goal?

My original goal was just to be able to run a bit! I was surprised how quickly it became more comfortable and my goals became more ambitious

What else have you done?

I have done 10ks, some really fun trail running involving ponds (I never thought those words could go together!) and in January I did my first half marathon.

What are you planning for this/next year?

I am planning on running the Great North Run in September and a few road and trail races before that

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

Come and try it! We are very friendly and the chat is as good as the run!

KEVIN BLOUNT

What made you take up running?

I wanted to get fitter and lose some weight and I was rubbish at running on my own! Fitmums & friends was a friendly, non-intimidating way to run with others (and Alison made me do it!)

What was your original goal?

To run 10k

What else have you done?

Have done a few 10ks, a 10 mile and some trail running

What are you planning for this/next year?

This year am planning to do 2 10 miles and a half marathon

What made you join FM?

Alison made me do it...

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

Give it a go! You can run at your own pace, with lots of choice, and everyone can find a place


ALISON COCKERILL

What made you take up running?

Hmmm This is a tricky one. I’ve always run. My earliest memories are from when I represented my primary school in cross country races. Being freezing cold and covered in mud, just keeping my eye on the person who was just one ahead of me and trying to catch up with them. A strategy that I still employ now! I've never been particularly fast, but have always enjoyed the longer distances. As I grew up, and faced all the usual challenges that becoming an independent adult brings, running became my ’thing’. It was what I did before starting revision sessions for exams, its what I did after an exam to release the tension in my body. Its what I did when I didn’t know what else to do. Now, it's what I do to have time to myself, headspace. Its my medicine for my mind! I love being outside come rain or shine. I love the feeling I get physically and mentally.     

What made you join FM?

As I said, running was the thing that I did to have time to myself. I enjoyed, and still enjoy running on my own. When a friend (AMB) suggested that I could contribute to a running club looking for Run Leaders I wasn’t convinced. I didn’t want something else to have to fit in to an already very busy life with lots of conflicting demands. I agreed to come along and offer some informal support initially. I got drawn in very quickly. It wasn’t just the supportive, non competitive, nurturing nature of the club that I valued. It was the emphasis that it didn’t matter what you wanted to achieve - the club, and its leaders would help you achieve it. I never thought I could help others in that way.

What was your original goal?

After returning to work after having my second child I increasing felt the need to have a little bit of something for me, just me. I signed up to run a half marathon - I'd done a number of halves prior to having children, but this time it felt different. The challenge felt greater. Finding the time, energy and inclination to train was not easy.  With the help of AMB & Becky I did it. That was it, I knew I needed to keep running I knew I needed to keep entering races to have something to focus on.