Have the confidence and believe in yourself – that’s the advice from Gill Watkinson who started as a complete non-runner, now running a 10k with ease and planning a half marathon.
Whether you’re an avid runner, or a complete beginner, it’s never too late to start planning for the Ørsted Great Grimsby 10k.
With race day on Sunday 4 June, there’s still time to sign up (www.greatgrimsby10k.com) and follow race organiser Tape2Tape’s 10-week training plan: www.nelincs.gov.uk/get-orsted-great-grimsby-10k-ready-with-this-training-plan
Starting with a simple walk and jog, Gill from New Waltham is proof that if you set your mind to it, you can achieve it. She went from being a complete non-runner, to now aiming for a half marathon, after taking up the sport in lockdown in 2020 as something to focus on after losing her cousin to cancer in 2019 and struggling mentally. Gill thought she’d just ‘give it a go’ and couldn’t run for 30 seconds without being out of breath. “I persevered, and it was brilliant to have a focus away from the grief,” she said. “Running makes me feel happy. It takes the stresses of life away, and a little part of me feels like she’s always watching me and spurring me on.”
With the aim to be able to complete a 5k, Gill started running a couple of times a week, alternating between running and walking, finishing it in around one hour. From here, she aimed to get faster, and by 2022, she was down to 30 minutes and running a 10k in just over an hour. “I was happy with that”, she said.
But not one to stop there, Gill then joined a running club after a member of her gym persuaded her. “I was nervous as I’d only ever run alone, but was so glad I did as I loved it,” said Gill.
It was during her time at the running club that Gill’s friend convinced her, after many attempts, to take part in Tape2Tape’s Gainsborough 10k race in November 2022 – her first ever race.
Now, Gill has signed up to the North Lincolnshire Half Marathon in March, and the Ørsted Great Grimsby 10k in June. She’s running faster and gaining in confidence.
“I never in a million years thought I’d be saying anything like this,” said Gill. “Entering running events or running at all would have filled me with horror, but now I honestly can’t wait.
“The Gainsborough 10k will now hold a special place in my heart, being what kick started my confidence to say “I’m a runner” which I wouldn’t say before.
“If I can do it from being a complete non-runner, anyone can! I would say go for it. You won’t believe how far you can go and what you can achieve. I definitely didn’t believe it!”
Neil and Nicola from Tape2Tape said: “Have the confidence and believe in yourself. We are all more capable than we sometimes give ourselves credit for. Knowing our races are what gave Gill the confidence to feel like a true runner makes us so happy. We are runners and we put these races on for everyone to enjoy and to make such a difference to someone’s confidence is just amazing. Go Gill, and long may your running journey continue.”
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