Michelle

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I have been running with RLJ for 4 years now. I started when my daughter was 11 months old as I was carrying some additional weight from my pregnancy that I wanted to shift before she turned 1. I joined the Beginners group and haven't looked back since!

Not being a particularly sporty person, I was surprised by how much I enjoyed it. The ladies were so friendly and supportive that I could almost forget that it was an exercise group - I started to see it as more a chance to catch up with the girls. By the end of the Beginners course, I was hooked - I was fitter, healthier and lighter within 6 weeks of joining and I went on to complete my first (and only!) half marathon in the September of the same year.

Having run with the group for a while, Anna and Emma approached me and asked if I'd like to take on coaching the Beginners group and I jumped at the chance! I've been coaching for just over a year, it's such a rewarding job seeing ladies progressing week by week. I absolutely love it!

Outside of the running group, I have a husband, a dog and two young children who are very active so there's lot of camping, scooting and sports/after school clubs going on. On the work side of things, I help my husband run his carpentry business, help RLJ out on the administration of things and have recently gone back to working in London part time - so I'm pretty busy! However, Monday is run day so I always make sure that is firmly in the diary.



Natalie

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My name is Natalie Wilson but most people call me Nat. I’ve been running for the last 17 years which is why I’m starting to get injured more and more! Running is a huge part of my life and rarely a day goes part without me running except when injuries stop me. I am the Ladies Captain for Reigate Priory Ac. I’ve recently started track racing which I have been enjoying as it reminds me of my childhood running days. I have a son who frustratingly shows no sign of interest in the sport despite my best attempts

Outside of running I am a care and support worker in the community and have been doing this for about 12 years. I get a lot of satisfaction from making a difference to people’s lives.

Rachel

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I have been running for almost 6 years and I really enjoy it because it’s such a great stress reliever as well as keeping fit in the great outdoors. I have been with RLJ for almost 1 year now, taking part as a coach or helper on several of their courses and runs. I run because it’s an hour a day that is mine, a great time to think and reflect as well as feeling a sense of freedom and happiness which I cannot get in the gym! Running with RLJ is great because the camaraderie and chats of running together with like-minded women make running much more fun and enjoyable!

I am a fully qualified massage therapist with almost 4 years’ experience. I massage people from all walks of life, from office based professionals, weekend warriors to sportsmen and women.

Christine

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"I love running" are three words I never dreamed I would put together! I was never particularly sporty at school and would find every possible excuse to avoid P.E. lessons. However all that changed when I joined RLJ in 2013. As my husband so kindly puts it, I "took up running later in life" and I haven't looked back. Running with RLJ has motivated me to achieve what I never thought possible! And an added bonus is that I have met so many lovely ladies. I love that RLJ is so supportive and inclusive. Running with a group makes me run further than I ever do on my own. I guess that's all down to the distraction of running with friends and having a good old natter at the same time!



Jackie

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I first began running in my early 20’s. It was both a way of improving my fitness and also a great way to reduce the stresses of the day. Since then running has continued to me part of my life. I have run in 10k and half marathon events and they offer a great sense of achievement but the key for me has to be consistency.

The benefits of exercise are widely documented not just for fitness and weight loss but improving mental health. There are plenty of days when I don’t feel like running but I remember two phrases that inspire me: 'The first step is the hardest’, ‘feelings precedes action’. Also on those harder days group sessions are great. There is such positivity, support and encouragement and often you can go further than you ever thought possible, not to mention they are such good fun!

I enjoy many other forms of activities too, like tennis (I don’t play well but its great fun), Pilates and Yoga - I’m not the extreme sport type :) I also attend a book club and I’ve found now my twin daughters are 10 I can actually get to finish the book instead of just turning up for the wine!!

As a qualified nutritional therapist who enjoys running I thought it be advantageous to attend a course in leadership in running which I completed in February 2017. I met Emma during an outdoor fitness session a few years ago and our paths crossed again when I attended an RLJ course which she was leading and have been helping out on an adhoc basis ever since.




Kate

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I’ve been running on and off for years, but have really got back into it in the last 2 years or so. Part of this rediscovering of running involved me joining RLJ, and I loved running with such a friendly and supportive group. I then had my second baby and have been working hard to get fit again since. Running makes me feel happy, even if I only get out for 20 minutes, the benefits are huge – I feel much more positive and energised.

I have just completed the Leadership in Running Fitness qualification through England Athletics. I decided to do this as a bit of an investment in myself, and also to allow me to share my love of running with others.

I am also a parkrun fanatic – how amazing that there is a free, timed event every week on our doorsteps. If I am not running parkrun, I am donning a hi-vis and being part of the core team to make the parkrun magic happen every week. If you’ve not yet tired it, come along to Reigate’s Priory Park at 9am on a Saturday – you won’t regret it!

Outside of running, I have been a teacher in a secondary school for the last 10 years, but am starting a new adventure as a Special Needs Assistant in a primary school soon. I am also mummy to two little people who I hope will grow up to love running, too.


Libby

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I first started running with RLJ when I moved to Surrey with 2 very young children, I didn’t know a soul and thought what better way to meet other Mums.

I love the camaraderie of running with a group, everyone has a different story, and there is always so much to gossip about. It is an inspirational and motivating club full of wonderful ladies from all walks of life.

Running for me is something I do for myself, it helps me clear my head and enables me to deal with some of the challenges being a Mum brings. I have been a nurse for many years specialising in Cardiology. I started running when together with a group of friends we walked a race for life , we were so embarrassed we hadn’t put a bit of effort in we swore to run the next one which we did , we then signed up for a 10k and we have all since run a half marathon .

Not so interesting Fact- In my youth I was in the TA Medical Corps- on basic training I was told I stripped and cleaned my gun like I was flower arranging




Ashleigh

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I have been running with RLJ for almost 4 and a half years – this is the longest I have ever stuck to any form of exercise! I started out in the beginners group and from there built up my fitness and enthusiasm for running. It makes such a difference to so many aspects of life – besides health and fitness; it is such a feel good thing to do and a great stress buster. Running in a group makes it much easier – everyone is always supportive and there to enjoy their run together.

I know I will always feel good after a run – more positive, more energised, more motivated. When I started running with RLJ, I never thought I would be such an advocate of running or be prepared to run in ALL types of weather – but knowing how good it makes you feel, it is easy to do just that!



Jo

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I’ve been running for about 12 years. I love trail running, especially in the cold, muddy winter! I enjoy pushing myself to try new things. I’ve enjoyed a range of different challenges over the years, including an ultra marathon.

I came to RLJ to join their longer distance course and found running with others of a similar ability really helpful and enjoyable.

I run to be outdoors in the fresh air and stay fit physically and mentally-it’s a great stress reliever. I also run for cake and gin. I enjoy running with my husband Steve who runs with (RMJ) although I’m usually trying to catch him up as he’s very speedy! I have recently taken up open water swimming. I love being outdoors and can often be found on my bike or in the garden. I’ve started doing triathlons which is very exciting.

When I am not running I am a primary school teacher (PE LEAD) and Mum to a Teenager but my real claim to fame is that Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood once had a slice of my homemade lemon drizzle cake.


Lindsay

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I started running in my mid 40's, after having done no sport for ages, with a small group from work. Once I got going with running regularly I found that I had loads more energy, which is an amazing benefit when you are a single mum of 2 boys!

It took me a while to build up to my first race - 5k Race4Life and then gradually building up to a 10k distance. The first Reigate Half felt like a huge step up, but I had a training plan and built up the miles slowly. I totally loved the event and 2018 will be my 5th year at Run Reigate! I ran the first Reigate Priory parkrun in 2014 and try to go as much as possible, especially touring around to visit different ones. This year I am hoping to complete my parkrun alphabet.

I discovered RLJ a few years ago and found it so amazingly supportive and welcoming as a ladies club. Going out with the groups in the evenings was so inspiring even after a long day in the office. My highlight of the year is definitely the Winter Run, which I think I have done 3 times now with RLJ.

I have gained my Leadership in Running Fitness qualification as I was keen to be able to give back some of the joy I have got from getting outside running (never on a treadmill), being fitter and healthier, as well as a way to meet new people, back to others. I am looking forward to continuing my running jour