You Never Know, You Might Enjoy It! By Caroline Wilkinson

When I signed up for the Ealing Eagles beginners programme it was a very spur of the moment thing. I hadn’t told anyone I was going to do it and had never before thought that running was for me. It hadn’t mattered that some of my friends had professed what a wonderful club Ealing Eagles was, I had never thought of myself as a ‘runner’. When signing up I thought that I would be waiting weeks, if not months so it was a surprise when I got an email from Wei Hei, who oversees the beginners programme, not long after, in February 2016 to say that I would be starting in a couple of weeks!   

I think my husband was just as shocked as I was when I said that I was going to start running. I hadn’t been doing any exercise at all so was nervous going to the first session. I didn’t know anyone and worried that everyone else would be much fitter and faster than me but there was no need to worry, you start by running for 2 minutes and walking 1. The coaches are all volunteers and are extremely encouraging and supportive. I’ve also made lots of friends and together we graduated from the beginners group 6 weeks later as we were able to run 5k continuously.

We then went on to run the Ealing Eagles 10k on the 8th May which was extremely hot but good fun! Aside from the running there’s the social side of the club which is summed up by the fact that we are known as ‘a drinking club with a running problem’. 

For anyone thinking of signing up to the beginners, I’d say stop thinking about it and just do it, you never know, you might even enjoy it! 

Caroline Wilkinson - February Beginner & Ealing Eagle

 

A Beginner's Tale by Anne Stott

Get off the sofa, go outside where it’s just above freezing, wear very little clothing and run / walk around Ealing for 4km

Had someone said that to me 5 months ago, I would have laughed, very politely. 

Fast forward to May 2016. I now absolutely love my 2 to 3 runs per week. OK, I don’t have great aspirations, and am happy to stick to slow 5ks, but it’s a heck of a lot more than I was doing.  And, what gave me the encouragement and inspired me to think I could actually do it? The Ealing Eagles Beginners Programme.  
 
It was a quirky little piece posted on one of the local Facebook forums by Wei Hei Kipling that caught my attention. It was reassuring, full of optimism and it got me thinking: “could I really run 5km, a whole 5km?” So I signed up. 

Completing Gunnersbury parkrun

Completing Gunnersbury parkrun

Wednesday 6th January 2016, 1830 and we were off, and so it went on for the next 6 weeks starting gently and building up.  Each week, I could run just that bit further and guess what? I could run and chat at the same time, I didn’t have to run fast or get out of my comfort zone. People encouraged me, made me laugh along the way, and had faith in my abilities, even if I didn’t have them myself. I met new friends, both beginners and Ealing Eagles volunteers. The tail runners got to know me well!

Getting my Beginners Programme certificate

Getting my Beginners Programme certificate

I have since volunteered at the Ealing Eagles 10k and the atmosphere and camaraderie is astounding. I am a convert to running, and as one lady said to me at the end of a run; “you probably won’t be thanking yourself for doing this now, but you will be later in life”.
 
Anne - Ex Couch Potato and proud Ealing Eagle