Move, Walk, Run! group celebrates 1000th session
20 July 2022
Here at RunTogether HQ, we love to celebrate the achievements of the RunTogether community, however big or small.
We are delighted to dedicate the RunTogether spotlight to the incredible Move, Walk, Run! group based in the Chiltern Hills who have recently celebrated their staggering 1000th session!
Having started the female-only group in 2017, we caught up with Run Leader Louise Wright to find out a little more about the group, her favourite RunTogether memories, motivations, and advice.
Let’s meet Louise
“I only started running in my mid 30’s after a somewhat patchy experience with exercise. After exploring the local trails I soon found that I loved being out in the countryside, getting fitter and feeling happier running with friends.
“I was running a few times per week when speaking to people they would say, “I would love to run, but I’m not a runner” and this puzzled me, because neither was I until just recently.
“This inspired me, as I wanted others to discover that anyone can run and feel the benefits to their physical and mental health – we all have to start somewhere.
“I work as a nutritionist, and I could see how many of my clients couldn’t quite find a way to get fit that they loved, and a lightbulb moment led me to take the plunge and set up Move, Walk, Run! after taking the leader in running fitness course.
“I absolutely believe that running with others is better. It keeps you going on days you’re not feeling it, provides connection and keeps you safe, lifting spirits in such a supportive environment.”
Growing the group
Celebrating 1000 sessions over five years is no walk (or run) in the park, and Louise has worked very hard with a team of dedicated Run Leaders to build Move, Walk, Run! to what it is today.
“In the early days, we had 2 sessions a week and a couple of runners, but we kept going and word gradually spread. We always have and will welcome any ability, so it was wonderful to see the girls support each other with their confidence and running developing as time went by.
“When Covid came, we missed each other terribly but kept connected via our Facebook group, holding challenges to help keep everyone running and sharing what we got up to. We paused and started through the numerous lockdowns but always came back bigger and better with an appreciation of what we had missed by running together in-person.
“Soon, we were up to six sessions a week with extra leaders and more and more runners. Now we vary locations throughout the local area.
“Some of my favourite memories of the group are at the end of each beginner’s course, all our members come together to run a 5k and celebrate achievements. I also love the half marathon group runs. These were set up for people to enjoy the 13-mile distance without the pressure of an organised event, to run as one and feel the sense of joy and achievement together!”
Being able to celebrate 1000 RunTogether sessions together as one after the struggles of recent years was not only an incredible achievement but an opportunity for reminiscing and exploring:
“For our 1000th session we celebrated with a run at our original location of Coombe Hill, with a big group including some of our original and brand-new runners, followed by cake and fizz with a view!
It is beyond my wildest dreams to get there, and I’ve absolutely loved every single Move, Walk, Run! session, long may it continue!"
Feeling inspired by Move, Walk, Run! and want some advice to start your own group? There may be challenges along the way but creating a community of runners and friends with a mutual love for running is incredibly rewarding and inspiring. Here’s what Louise has to say:
- DO IT! Overcome any frustrations in the early days with getting people along and keep going, it will happen. Tell everyone, keep telling everyone, make it inclusive and always encourage.
- Understand that it takes guts for someone new to turn up and give it a try so be super thankful when someone does – that is the biggest step of all for anyone new to running or just coming to a group.
- When your group grows ask some others to become leaders. This has been a huge support for me and to help manage it all.
- Create the atmosphere that makes it the group you want it to be. For us, it's super relaxed with a focus on friendship and a healthy lifestyle, but brilliant things in running are also achieved individually.
- Understand that people want different things from their running. Some are driven to improve, some are put off by pressure. I believe you can create an environment that ticks the right boxes for every runner and that it’s always better to run together.
Find out more
If you would like some help in setting up your own group, or would like further information you can get in touch with us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Every RunTogether group can track their runs and progress towards their next goal by using the RunTogether app. Don’t forget to add your run sessions and encourage your runners to sign up through this – who will be next to hit the big 1000?