I joined the Jog Belfast programme at the Girls Model in April 2016. I had no real interest in running and only went because a few friends convinced me to, and I had already lost two and a half stone and thought the running might help with future weight loss. When I turned up on the first night I was sure that I would hate it and drop out after a few weeks but I was surprised to find that I actually enjoyed it. I think that was down to the fact that the sessions start slowly and also the amazing coaches. Vivien and Martin could not have been more supportive and really encouraged us along the way. I completed the course and graduated at the Waterworks parkrun and was determined to keep up with the running and started doing three runs a week on my own. I have now completed three 10k races, a leg of the marathon in a relay and last weekend I ran my 50th parkrun at the Waterworks (I even did a parkrun when I was in San Francisco which was an amazing experience). I am currently training for the Belfast Half Marathon in September and have now lost five stone (which the running has definitely helped with).
I would never have started running let alone kept it up if it had not been for the Jog Belfast programme and the coaches. Running has improved my life both physically and mentally and I am so glad I signed up. I would encourage anyone to do it, I started with literally no level of fitness at all and if I can do it anyone can.