Emma Vigrass

It was winter time, early dark nights, cold and well, winter. My body was in true hibernation state but I knew I needed to do something about it and I promised myself that I would in the New Year. A friend saw a post I’d put on Facebook and messaged me suggesting I join the Stoke F.I.T couch to 5K starting in January – he had joined the club a few years earlier and said how it had made such a positive difference in his life. 

Running!! Me!! I sort of laughed first and said I’d think about it and he didn’t give up on me either. I agreed to start the programme in January – I remember turning up on that first night and talking to another lady who was starting and we just didn’t know what to expect. The club runners were so friendly and inviting – there were so many different people there, people who could run but didn’t fit into the stereotypical ‘athlete’ label. The first night we did a mixture of walking and running, it felt good. I actually enjoyed it and I was looking forward to going to the next club night. The rest really is history, I completed the programme! The first time I ran non stop for more than 16 minutes was an amazing feeling, I couldn’t run up the stairs without getting out of breath before!

Having the club runners as support made a massive difference, they were happy to share their own experiences, tips etc. and encouraged you all the way.

I ran my 5k race and then went on to do a 10k!! I then joined the club officially and I haven’t looked back since. I didn’t think I would be able to do it and I certainly didn’t think I would enjoy it. I suffer with depression and running really helps me with that as well as being healthy. 

All I would say to anyone thinking about trying it is to just try it, you really don’t know until you do – Stoke F.I.T has made a difference in my life, they’re one hell of club!!