Dozens of workers at a Derbyshire firm are all enjoying the new-found benefits of running after they took up the sport as part of a month-long challenge to encourage them to get fit.
Around 60 people at Lubrizol in Hazelwood have just come to the end of their involvement in the British Heart Foundation’s MyMarathon Challenge, which asked people to run or walk 26.2 miles over the course of May.
The company already has its own running group which organises regular Wednesday lunch time runs and its members took on the task of getting their colleagues active by laying on extra runs and making themselves available to offer advice and training tips.
In response, about 50 staff members, many of whom had never run more than a few yards before, agreed to get involved and set about completing the challenge by pulling on their trainers and heading out for a few miles a day.
By the end of the month, each one had run the required 26.2 miles and were presented with medals as a reward, but the hope now is that the experience will act as a springboard to take their involvement in the sport further.
One of those hoping to do just that is Lubrizol project specialist Megan Spencer, who signed up because she wanted to get active and overcome her aversion to running.
She said: “I’ve tried to get into running before and hated it, but I stuck with it this time all the way through and completed my marathon.
“It helped having a goal but also made a big difference taking part with other people and even though I was new to running and thought I would slow everyone down, the faster runners mustered back for us during the runs to ensure we weren’t left behind.
“I feel more energised these days and I definitely want to keep running. My boyfriend and I take part in our local Park Run and I really don’t want to go back to how I was.
“I’m really happy that I’ve gone from not being able to run one kilometre to having run four miles and I’ve now set myself the target of running a 10K.”
One of the organisers is Will Durkin, who, when he is not working as a chemist at Lubrizol, is a keen runner and a member of the Derwent Runners running club in Derby.
He said: “There was a fundraising element to the challenge but we took that out of it because we just wanted to encourage people to get active and get their heart rate pumping.
“We’ve had people walking with us and even walking up and down the hill outside our front gate, which is very steep and certainly gets the heart rate going.
“We’re really pleased with the success of it and hope that everyone will stick at it and that we might get a few more members joining our running club.”
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