Basingstoke residents proved they were no slouch as couch potatoes peeled away from the sofa to get fit and healthy.
Live2Run4Fun based in Basingstoke teamed up with Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council to lead an initiative to encourage a group of nearly 50 adults to get fitter.
Jon Matthews, director and running coach for Live2Run4Fun, organised and delivered two beginners running courses called Couch to 5k to the fitness novices.
Jon said: “It’s been a real pleasure for us to have been given the opportunity by Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council in being able to coach the two groups to enjoy a more active lifestyle by taking on this running fitness challenge.
“It has been superb to have supported the groups and watch them develop their fitness from just walking to becoming runners; and for them to have fun in doing so.”
“Enjoyment is the key in continuing to run regularly.”
The 10-week fitness programme is designed to improve the overall health and fitness of the runners during a structured training plan.
Participants developed their fitness from walking to be able to run continuously for 30-40 minutes.
Jon added that the runners should “feel highly proud in what they have each achieved.”
Weekly coaching sessions at Basingstoke War Memorial Park eventually built up the fitness and confidence of the runners to achieve a 5km (three miles) run.
Members who completed the challenge were given a certificate.
Councillor Simon Bound, Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council’s cabinet member for communities, said he is pleased to see the progress being made by the initiative.
He said: “We are delighted to support these courses as they are a great way for beginners who lack confidence to be able to learn the basics of running in a knowledgeable and friendly environment.
“It was great to see so much interest in the initial scheme and it has been fantastic that so many people new to running have been able to improve their wellbeing and achieve their 5km.
“Well done to everyone who achieved their goal and I hope they will continue on this fitness path.”
Runners can sign up for the 5k and 10k Basingstoke Run at Down Grange on May 16 in aid of St Michael’s Hospice by signing up online at https://bit.ly/2CeZkzL