A year ago Helena Ridsdale weighed 19 stone and struggled to climb the stairs…then she took up running.
Since then the 51-year-old mother of two grown-up children has shed seven stone and is now preparing to tackle the first Asda Foundation Bury 10K on Sunday September 18th.
She and other members of her running group from the Bury-Heywood area taking on the challenge to raise money for Bury Hospice.
Helena, from Heywood, started her weight loss programme last summer and in November her personal trainer, Luke Harreld, suggested she did some running.
She said: “I didn’t like running at school and thought I’d never be able to do it. At first I could barely run for a minute so it was a case of run-walk-run. Bit by bit I was able to increase the distance I could run.”
After months of training Helena was able to complete the Manchester 10K, raising £1,000 for mental health charity MIND.
Helena said: “Luke decided he would like to set up a running group for people like me, who needed some support and encouragement to run. I’m now able to use my experience to offer encouragement to other people who want to improve their fitness and perhaps lose some weight.
“The group sessions are great. We all chat and motivate each other and that’s a big help. You don’t need a lot of money to take up running and it makes you fitter, healthier and more confident.
“We are all looking forward to the Bury 10K and if I can do it anyone can.”
The Bury 10K, which also includes a 1.4K family fun run, is being organised by Jane Tomlinson’s Run For All in partnership with I Will If You Will (IWIYW), a fitness movement in Bury that’s helping women, girls and their families to be more active, more often. IWIYW is delivered by Bury Council with National Lottery funding form Sport England.