In the summer of 2017, HMT St Hugh’s offered budding runners the chance to win a place in the sold-out Dong Energy Great Grimsby 10K and £100-worth of Metres to Metres vouchers to put towards a brand new pair of running shoes. The condition was that they hadn’t completed a challenge of this nature before, and we ran the competition on our Facebook page.
We also offered support in the lead up to the race by inviting the competition winner to a nutrition seminar and a one-to-one session with Dr Mayur Ranchordas, Senior Lecturer and Sport Nutrition Consultant at Sheffield Hallam University.
Hannah Carr, aged 34 from Cleethorpes, was selected as the lucky winner. She said: “Before I set myself this challenge, I’d never thought of myself as a runner – even though I had previously enjoyed going to the gym and occasionally taking part in fitness classes like Zumba and circuit training.
“I was very nervous on the morning of the Grimsby 10K but, as I had put in a decent amount of training, felt fine once I got going. The buzz I experienced when I crossed the finish line and received my T-shirt and medal has only spurred me on even more and I recently ran the first ABP Humber Coastal Half Marathon in Cleethorpes.
“I think a lot of the runners got through the 10K with the support of fellow participants and the spectators cheering you on – it’s such a great atmosphere. I ran most of the way with my friend Jo which helped to motivate us both, and she joined me again for the half marathon.
“Dr Ranchordas developed my training plan during the one-to-one session, which was a fantastic help. He shared some great tips relating to diet, including what to eat before and after a run, and clarified the benefits and pitfalls of coffee and energy gels.
“I upped my training recently to prepare for the half marathon and tackled 10 miles in one session, but saved the whole distance for the day.
“I’m raising money for Mind, which is a charity that’s very close to my heart. The total has already exceeded my £300 target, which definitely encouraged me to reach the finish line!”
Even after a summer of hard work to achieve her goals, Hannah is planning to carry on running and is already looking ahead to next year’s Great Grimsby 10K when she hopes to smash her personal best.
She added: “It’s been a fantastic way to lose weight – I have lost a total of one and a half stones since January and am now only a few pounds away from achieving my first target.”
When asked what advice she would give to anyone thinking of taking up running, Hannah said: “If, like me just last year, the thought of running fills you with dread, do what I did and start off steadily.
“I began by walking for three miles at a time, running in intervals throughout. Then, as soon as I could run all three, I gradually increased the mileage each time I trained.
“Tracking your runs using apps like Strava and Runkeeper is definitely a motivating factor – that way you’ve got a visual representation of your achievements (and can show off to all your mates, of course!).
“And besides, if I can do it then anyone can! Even if it’s just a couple of miles, it’s better than sitting at home on the sofa.”
To sponsor Hannah for the ABP Humber Coastal Half Marathon in Cleethorpes, visit her JustGiving page.