From Race For Life' to recovery and running again
04 May 2016
Laura Parker joined the Hamstreet Run England Group in Kent as a beginner runner back in 2013. She'd never considered running before but she thought she'd give it a go. At the time, the target for the Group was to take part in the local Race For Life 5k event in June.
Laura stated "My mum was recovering from lung cancer around then, so it was an event I was really keen to support. The Group's walk-jog sessions leading up to the event really helped build up my confidence in running.
On the day, a team of us took part and we raised a good amount of money. I absolutely loved it! It was safe to say I had caught the running bug!"
Laura continued to run after that first event. Under the guidance and support of Sandi Starling, the Group's founder and qualified Run England Leader (pictured top with Laura), Laura was now running twice a week with the Group. Along with the other runners, she started participating in more local events such the PodPlus Summer Series, parkrun and The Hamstreet Torch 5k. Laura built up her distances gradually and soon signed up with friends to take on The Majors 10k Mud Run in October 2013, whilst fundraising for a local charity.
On 4th September 2013 Laura was involved in a major car accident and severely damaged her neck and back. She believed her running days were over.
Laura stated, "Through the following months of immobility, I'd given up all hope of ever running again. In March 2015 I began seeing an osteopath on a weekly basis and by July 2015 I had improved enough to start Pilates to strengthen my core. I went regularly and it really helped."
In September 2015, 2 years after her accident, Laura met up with Sandi, the Hamstreet Run England Group Leader, to trial a short run. It went well and under the close eye of Sandi and along with the support of the other runners, Laura has gradually over time returned to comfortably running 5k twice a week with the Group.
Sandi Starling commented, "It was terrible what happened to Laura. I've kept in regular contact with her to see how her recovery has been going. Her running journey has been tougher than most but she's coming back stronger and it's wonderful to see her running again."
Laura added, "Running has been a huge personal target, and now a significant achievement, in my recovery. I very much have Sandi, and the group members of Hamstreet Run England, to thank for helping me to remain positive throughout this whole experience. With their support, I've been able to achieve what I didn't think possible."
If you'd like to take up running and achieve things you never thought possible, just contact your beginner friendly running group today. To find your local group, please visit: www.runengland.org/groups