Malcolm Alderton’s couch to marathon RunTogether journey
15 August 2022
Here at RunTogether HQ, we love to hear about your running journey, and how RunTogether has helped you: whether it’s reaching a running goal, lacing up your trainers for the first time or becoming a qualified leader of your own group!
For Malcolm Alderton of Chorley, it was a new year’s resolution in January 2015 which sparked his interest in running, signing up to the local council’s Couch to 5k programme to improve his fitness. Despite doing some walking through the Yorkshire Dales or an occasional skiing holiday, Malcolm had become quite inactive.
Turning up to the session, he was quote nervous, unsure whether he would be able to even run for 60 seconds.
“To my surprise and delight, it wasn’t as bad as I expected. The encouragement from the group leaders and helpers was superb and the sense of achievement was amazing. The entire programme was well organised and with the help the group leaders, it made the whole experience enjoyable.”
After completing the Couch to 5k course, it’s fair to say that Malcolm had caught the running bug, improving his fitness and stamina. Within one year of running before his 60th birthday, he entered his first 10k race and half marathon.
From not being able to run for even a short period of time to completing his first running event was an incredible achievement, but Malcolm wanted more! Inspired by his leaders and peers on his running journey so far, he wanted to give back and help others in his local area to get into running together with others.
“Thanks to funding by Chorley Council, I completed the England Athletics Leadership in Running Fitness (LiRF) course which permitted me to organise and lead groups of runners as part of the follow-on programme.
“After the Couch to 5k, several people wanted to create an identity for the follow-on groups. This became the volunteer led RunTogether group, Chorley Runners in September 2016.
“My desire to help others experience the joy of running led to me becoming a Run Leader Mentor in 2018. I wanted to pass on my experience and knowledge to other running groups and leaders and help them develop their own running groups.”
Since beginning his running journey in 2014, and joining RunTogether in 2016, Malcolm has continued to develop as a runner but also as a leader. After volunteering originally as a Run Leader with Chorley Runners, Malcolm has since gone on to qualify as a Coach (CiRF), Guide Runner and completed his Event Group Endurance course!
RunTogether is not just about getting the local community active and enjoying exercise together, but also about providing opportunities for personal and professional development to those who are interested!
“I still run 3-4 times a week with others at Chorley Runners, at local parkrun events and with our local affiliated running club, Lions Running Community in Wheelton.
“Running with others in a supportive RunTogether group has changed my life both physically and mentally. As a result of the original Chorley Couch To 5K program and continuing to run, I am feeling so much fitter and healthier than I have since I was in my twenties.
“Running made me think about what I ate and how that affected my health and weight. It also improved my Mental Health through giving me time to think calmly, refocus on what was important and just to take time out.”
If you feel inspired by Malcolm’s story and want to find out more about development opportunities, leading or coaching qualifications, visit the England Athletics website.
If you are thinking of beginning your running journey and want to join an incredibly friendly and supportive community, look no further! Search for your nearest RunTogether group.
Looking for some extra motivation this week? Here’s one final inspirational nugget from the amazing Malcolm: “Keep going, you never know what you can achieve!”