The Hartlepool women going from couch to 5k with new running group
A new running group is helping women find their feet and boost their mental health despite the ongoing pandemic.
Hartlepool United Community Sports Foundation has started a Couch to 5k group to help any women go from zero to accomplished runners in a matter of weeks.
Twice a week, they meet up and go for a run around Hartlepool marina, getting that little bit fitter with each week.
Couch to 5k is an NHS programme designed for beginners to gradually build up their running ability so they can eventually run 5km without stopping.
Hartlepool Comunity Sports Foundation started at the end of September thanks to a grant from the Tampon Tax Fund.
And despite the current Tier 2 coronavirus restrictions, the group are able to continue to meet outdoors while abiding by the Rule of Six.
Tracy Gatiss, who is one of the group leaders along with Dean Cartwright, said: “With the restrictions against meeting indoors we thought it would be a good thing as we can do it in the fresh air.
"It is for exercise but also to help people’s mental health, especially with what we have been through lately.
"We have about six or seven members at the moment and they are really enjoying it.
"They said they can’t believe how much they have been able to build up their fitness.
"Last week we ran for 13 minutes which they wouldn’t have been able to do on their own.
“At the end, the aim would be to encourage them to do Park Runs when they are able to meet again on weekends.”
The group is free to join and meets at Hartlepool United’s Victoria Park in Clarence Road on Tuesdays at 10am and Fridays at 1.30pm.
Each session lasts around an hour and begins with a warm up walk.
Women of all ability aged over 16 are welcome with no experience necessary.
Couch to 5K was developed by new runner Josh Clark who wanted to help his 50-something mum get off the couch and start running too.
The running plan has been tried and tested by tens of thousands of new runners nationwide.
For more details message Hartlepool United Community Sports Foundation on Facebook or call Tracy on 07497 204960.