A group of women have proved themselves to be inspirations after going from little exercise to entering marathons in the space of a year.
Fifty female runners from East Durham took part in the Manchester Marathon last weekend.
I’m immensely proud of the ladies and it has been purely down to their own determination and commitment that they have come so far alreadyColin Hancock, volunteer running coach
And two are getting ready for the famous London Marathon this weekend.
Many of the girls, who are aged between 18 and early 50s, only took up running last year, though some have been running for longer.
They have improved their fitness and made new friends after joining one of three community running clubs. They are the Peterlee Ladies, Wingate Striders and Run Peterlee.
The Manchester Marathon’s 26-mile route took them out of their comfort zone and they had to draw on all of the physical and mental preparation they had.
It will be another test for the two members, who will join thousands of competitors in Sunday’s London Marathon.
Some did the run for personal reasons and to challenge themselves, while others are raising money for a charity or ran in memory of a loved one.
Taking up running has also helped the women lose weight, build confidence and increase their fitness levels.
Volunteer running coach Colin Hancock has helped the women.
He said: “I’m immensely proud of the ladies and it has been purely down to their own determination and commitment that they have come so far already.”
Peterlee Ladies running group was set up in 2011 by Peterlee Town Council’s Sports Development in partnership with East Durham Belles.
East Durham Belles is a Sport England-funded project to encourage women aged 16 and over living in East Durham to get more active.
Anyone wanting further information on any of the running groups or other activities East Durham Belles provide, can contact Sharon Pounder on (0191) 5869957 or email firstname.lastname@example.org