Finding Me Time with This Mum Runs group


Anneke van Eijkern is a member of This Mum Runs - a Bristol community of Mums that started out as a small Facebook group and has grown into nearly 900 runners.

This Mum Runs was launched in November 2014 by Bristol mum and lapsed runner, Mel Bound whose focus is developing a strong community of women who can find local running buddies and removing some of the barriers that make it difficult for women to start running.

This is 40-year-old Anneke's story:

I wanted to start running but I’d tried it before and not really stuck at it. I heard about a running community called ‘This Mum Runs’ and looked at the group on Facebook. I was inspired to see that mums were out running and members were actively encouraged to post to find women of their own ability to run with, so I took the first step and posted to see if there were any other beginners.

It struck a chord with lots of other mums and there were loads of replies, but no one really knew where or how to start. Mel, the organiser of the group, offered to coach us and put together a Couch-to-5K programme. Fifteen women signed up straight away with a long waiting list of others.

When we started we were running for a minute at a time, and now we can all run 5K without stopping – and what’s even more incredible is that we actually enjoy it!

A big change is realising when I get home from work tired, the kids are screaming and I don’t want to get off the sofa, that there are other mums out there feeling the same yet are still managing to go. There are basically no excuses! I’ve realised it’s OK to find some ‘me’ time each week without feeling guilty. Just being able to get outside, exercise and share stories with other Mums makes us all feel more positive, like we’re all in it together.

When I have a good run, I literally can’t wait to post it on the group and always know that people will be pleased for me. If I have a rubbish run, they’re there to reassure and provide encouragement so that I don’t give up.

I read stories about the achievements of other mums in the group and feel inspired. It’s a great pooling of knowledge in one place and feels like a massive family of inspiring women that I’m proud to be a part of.

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