Doncaster Pacers - Dawn's story


The Doncaster Pacers (Doncaster Athletic Club's Run England Group) have received funding to train more Run Leaders up this year and in return they have supported over 200 NEW runners.

As part of the funding agreement, a number of inspirational Run Journeys have been put to paper, and we share them with you.

Dawn's Story

This is a summary - click here to read the full story - it's well worth it!

My idea of exercise was always to take the dogs for a walk.  When I was a teenager they got several a day as it was a good chance to have a crafty smoke.

Then I learned to drive – wow!  Grab my car keys and just go!

Then I learned to cook – wow I’m quite decent and eating is such a joy I always had seconds!

Then I had kids and juggling kids with work as all mums know is time consuming. 

On 28th March 2015 I woke up in the morning and suddenly wondered what on earth I was doing to myself.  I had a beautiful young friend who sadly had terminal cancer and although she knew her time with us was limited; she was so positive, lovely and kind.   I realised on this day that I was taking so much for granted – in particular my health.

A friend told me about Pacers and that there was a new beginners group starting very soon.  I laughed.  “Me run?  I’m 52! Runners are slim, agile people.  People who wear bright lycra which you probably can’t even buy in my size. Most importantly – everyone will laugh at me.”

I reluctantly joined and went to the first session fearing the worst.  Hang on a minute?  There are people here who are my age?  there are all kinds of shapes and sizes?  There is such a thing as black lycra?  Most shockingly – there are loads of people here – and none of us can run distance.

The first week I thought my chest would explode after 1 whole minute of running.  2nd week my calves were on fire and the 3rd week my knees ached so much – but it felt really quite wonderful afterwards.  The support from the coaches and each other was like something I have never experienced in my entire life.  The difficulties I was facing were confirmed as normal!  That in itself is reassuring.

It’s almost a year since that fateful day on 28th March.  What’s happening now?

  • I haven’t touched a cigarette
  • I have lost very nearly 4 stones and I am now a healthy weight. I now like clothes, shoes, shopping and am gaining confidence.
  • I still love cooking but my food choices help me stay fit and healthy.
  • I sleep well.  I have stable moods.  I am no longer stressed. I am much more confident.  I am sociable rather than the shy introvert person I was.

Sadly my friend passed away but not before I promised I would run a half-marathon one day for her.The most wonderful and amazing thing that happened to me is joining Pacers.  The special friendships and support we share is like nothing I’ve ever experienced before.  I have struggled so much with my running journey  and without doubt I couldn’t have done it alone.  You are all such amazing people and you have helped change my whole world.

If you have an inspirational Run Journey you'd like to share, why not send it to us?  Send it to Nicola Evans: to be considered for inclusion online!

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