Grainne Stephens has a message for anyone who thinks they could never complete a 5k – you can.
Encouraged by her mum, she’s now a regular at Waterworks parkrun. This is her story.
I started the Jog Belfast Programme in January 2018. In summer of 2017 I became very unhappy with the way I looked and realised I needed to do something about it.
My mummy is part of the North Belfast Harriers and is always out running long distances with her friends. I remember thinking one day “I wish I could do that”.
After nagging me, my sister and my best friend for ages to take part we eventually bit the bullet and registered. I remember the first night before we left the house to head to Girls Model, it was freezing outside and I could not have thought of anything worse than running in the cold but we headed up with our coats and gloves on.
As the weeks went on I could see myself getting better and better, and being able to run for longer lengths of time as the weeks progressed. My mummy played a huge part in motivating us to keep going and not give up.
After the 10 weeks were up we did our graduation run at Waterworks parkrun. My mummy was Run Director that day and was very encouraging to everyone who was there for the first time.
In normal times, I now complete the parkun every Saturday morning with my mummy, and have also joined the North Belfast Harriers running club.
I run 3-4 times a week with the best bunch of people. We have so many laughs and everyone is very encouraging and supportive of each other.
We have participated in a few 10K runs and they have honestly been the best fun. Since January, running has helped me lose weight and in doing that I now have a lot more confidence in myself.
If someone told me this time last year that I would have achieved half of what I have, I would have laughed and said they were lying.
I couldn’t have done what I have without the encouragement that my mummy has give me over the past number of months. For anyone thinking that they could never run 5K, you can! Jog Belfast was one of the best things I have ever done and I couldn’t recommend it enough.
Congratulations to De O’Connor who has been selected as the final winner of the #Vhi parkrun social media competition. De has won a pair of wireless Apple AirPods headphones, which will no doubt come in handy for all her future runs! De is living in Dublin, and her local parkrun is St Anne’s…
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