First marathon for lunchtime running group

Regular participation in an award-winning health and wellbeing programme has helped three colleagues go from gentle jogs to completing their first marathon.

Louise Aspinall, Dom Haughton and Glen Hilton, all of whom work at Truro and Penwith College, have recently completed their first ever marathons with the help of the College’s Sport England and National Lottery funded Health, Wellbeing and Sport programme.

Although training together through the programme, each of the runners took on a separate marathon with Dom running the Brighton Marathon, Louise the Bournemouth Marathon and Glen the marathon at the Eden Project.

“We’ve all done half marathons but took the plunge this year as it seemed like the logical conclusion. Every time you go another distance you think right what’s next,” said Dom.

Both Dom and Louise attended marathons held within a festival, which helped to create a fantastic atmosphere for their first time running the race.

“I took my family and made it a weekend away. The atmosphere was just incredible. Part of it for me is going to a location I’ve never been to and being able to see all the different parts. Seeing areas you wouldn’t otherwise see,” said Louise.

Closer to home and to Glenn’s heart, Glenn found his marathon at the Eden Project equally impactful, saying: “I wanted to find one that was local and I love the Eden Project, it’s been a massive part of my family life and my life for a long time so it fit well for me. It was beautiful, some of the settings when you got up high were stunning.”

The group have been running together for three years as part of the Health and Wellbeing programme at the College.

“It started off as small jogs at lunch time then we looked for a 5k race then a little bit more and then a little bit more and pushing a little bit further all the time until eventually we signed up to the marathons.

“I think it’s good just to get a message out there for people that anyone can get fit and run. None of us are from particularly sporty backgrounds, we’ve all got office jobs and we previously had inactive lifestyles for a number of years but after each thing you realised actually I can do this. The first time I did a spinning class here – I’d never done one before but I could do it, building it up over time. The support is amazing,” said Louise.

Indeed, it wasn’t just the running group that kept the group inspired. The three runners made sure to make the most of the College’s varied physical activity programme during their training.

“The biggest thing for me for going from the smaller runs to the bigger runs was doing all the different sessions. Doing the spinning and circuits helped build up my general fitness rather than just doing a run now and then and it keeps it fun and interesting,” added Glenn.

But it’s not just success in fitness the three have noticed throughout their training. “It’s going out with friends and it’s a real stress buster,” began Dom. “Getting out of the office in the middle of the day means you can go back feeling refreshed. It makes a huge difference to how I feel for the rest of the day.”

Although their first marathons are completed it is by no means the end of the group’s activities. They are all still avid members of the Health, Wellbeing and Sport programme at the College and are looking forward to the next challenge they can embark on.