Way back when it all began a friend said to me, “come with me to a new running group,it’s a new starters session tonight!”

Okay, so off I went in a pair of fashion leggings and probably fashion trainers. We started with running drills and a warm up around a sectioned off area of the local playing field. Then we tried to run a mile!! After just 10 minutes and not a mile yet I’d had enough. I was still carrying ‘baby weight’ my latest baby was 7 and had boobs as big as melons!! (Oh how I miss them now)
I vowed after the pain and embarrassment of that evening ‘never again’

Time went on and I didn’t run, I did walk a lot though and when a work colleague asked me to do The Bristol Sun Walk I set about training to walk a half marathon and dressed in a pimped up bra I speed walked (almost running) across Bristol. Almost running, yes I felt good and after that event I continued walking and also took up swimming in my lunch break and slowly that baby weight started to dissipate and I began to feel like I had energy. Still I would never ever run!!

After swimming came Boxing and then Kickboxing and I became fitter and stronger and felt great.

Then one night when the Kickboxing class all waited to get into the hall the unthinkable happened, we couldn’t train!!! What? There was voting on. What was I going to do? I wanted my endorphins shot. That’s when a run was suggested, and so on that night I tried to run and I did. 3 miles, I did a 3 mile run and that was it I was hooked and then there I was forever aiming for a mile longer a second quicker. I entered my first competitive event maybe 3 months later and came home second lady in a charity 10 mile run. I was urged to join a club but I wasn’t ready for that and kept on running for fun and entered a few more events.

I did eventually join a club for a short stay before finding myself pregnant with twins. Then the running stopped and the walking started again, until my twins were 4 weeks old. Then the running started again and there I was right back at square one, boobs like melons and chugging like a train, in tears because a mile felt so tough. It wasn’t long before the fitness came back, helped by Pilates and pram pushing runs. By the time the twins were 10 months old after weeks of training I was ready to run my first marathon. No time goals, just cross the finish line and cross the line I did in Chester in a time of 3 hours and 51 minutes. With my marathon stripes in hand I felt ready to join a club and that is where I had my first real experience of a running coach. That running coached coached me to a 3:19 marathon time, I was so chuffed.

Now over 6 years on I’ve worked with a few coaches and my current marathon PB is 3:13:04 and is marathon number 14 I’ve also trained as a UKA running coach and organised my own local 10k race. I’ve helped others start to or improve their run. I’ve had extreme highs and extreme lows and have juggled family and work around my addiction, that thing I would never do and now I hate not to do, run!!

Now what? What could I do to challenge myself, run faster maybe? Run longer maybe?

No,what I have decided to do is run 10 marathons in 10 days around Lake Windermere in Cumbria. Yes that’s right, that woman who could only just mange 10 minutes is planning to run 10, yes 10 marathons in 10 days. This will happen in May 2017 and along the way I will raise £5000 for a great motivational and inspiring charity that encourages young under privileged people to believe in themselves and achieve through confidence building activities and learning key life skills

Check them out here: www.brathaytrust.org.uk https://www.facebook.com/BrathayRunning/

I’ll be running the same course I did my first marathon on as part of my training in just 6 weeks and building up to a programme of 10 runs on and 2 days off and hoping to arrive in Windermere fitter than fit.

From 10 minutes I’m heading to 10 marathons, I hope that you read this and believe that if I can do it so can you. If you’d like to donate to my challenge you can do that just here:

www.justgiving.com/claire-Harrison30