Harriers back campaign

David Kirk with the Mail's Race for Fitness poster
David Kirk with the Mail's Race for Fitness poster

LACE up your trainers, pull on your kit and get fit for free.

Hartlepool Burn Road Harriers has supported the Hartlepool Mail’s Race for Fitness 2012 campaign by announcing members will hold six fitness sessions.

The club is giving people in Hartlepool the chance to embrace Olympic year by getting themselves in tip-top shape.

They are holding a weekly session, free of charge, for people of all ages and abilities who fancy giving running a try.

Hopes are high it may even end up with dozens of people getting the fitness ‘bug’ and signing up for the annual popular marina five-mile race.

The sessions don’t get underway until March, with Burn Road bosses hoping the lighter nights and hopefully warmer weather conditions will tempt people along.

David Kirk, chairman of Hartlepool Burn Road Harriers, said the club are delighted to support the Mail’s campaign to get the town fit.

David, who lives in the West Park area of Hartlepool, said: “I always say healthy in body means healthy in mind.

“I think Race for Fitness is a fantastic campaign and Burn Road Harriers are pleased to be able to offer our support.

“The more people who get involved the better, for their own good.

“The feel good factor of exercise is a fantastic thing.”

David said as well as getting out and running, the six free sessions organised by the club will give people the chance to socialise and meet new people.

He added: “Hopefully we will get a good response. They are taster sessions and people of all abilities are welcome along.

“If people exercise two or three times a week for just 20 minutes they will feel the benefits straight away.

“These sessions provide the opportunity for people to give exercise a chance.”

The first session will be held at West Hartlepool Rugby Club on Wednesday, March 14 from 6pm.

The session will involve runs around the rugby pitches, over to Summerhill or out and about around West Park, depending on individual fitness levels.

The town athletics club is the latest organisation to publicly back the Mail’s new campaign.

British Heart Foundation, North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust and Balance Alcohol Awareness Group are all behind the bid to get the town fit.

Mayor Stuart Drummond and town MP Iain Wright have backed the campaign as has town boxing ace and Olympic hopeful Savannah Marshall.

Now it’s down to the people of Hartlepool and east Durham to join in and mark Olympic year by improving your health.

Walk, swim, run, cycle or take on a super-human challenge, whatever it is let us know.

As David says, by taking part in just three exercise sessions each week, people can improve their own health and the worrying town figures.

More than 100 people die with heart disease in Hartlepool each year, one in five residents in the town still smokes and the North-East had the highest rate of alcohol-related hospital admissions in 2009/10.