Regina Hall: from couch to Run Leader

Regina Hall 2

Have you ever started running only to find a reason to stop again? Perhaps it’s the cold weather in the winter, or the fact that running seems like a solitary activity? Or maybe you’re just too tired when you get home from a long day at work? Don’t worry, we’ve been there and so has our recently qualified Run Leader Regina Hall from Move, Walk, Run in The Chilterns. 

Earlier in the year, we ran a competition to see who could attend the most RunTogether sessions in the month of March. In honour of the 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth Games, the 22 runners who attended the most sessions received a free LiRF course. Regina was amongst the winners and is now helping to lead sessions at Move, Walk, Run. Regina has been on quite a journey to become a Run Leader. She actually first began running in the second lockdown:  

“My mum had passed away in Ireland in January and we were in the middle of Covid-19 so things were quite difficult. I felt like I needed something different to focus on.  I had tried using apps before for things like couch to 5k but just hadn’t stuck with it. I decided to join a nine-week programme with a group and just really enjoyed the community feel that came with group running.”

Since then, Regina has continued running and ran a 10k last October as well as a half marathon in April. Shortly after completing her half marathon, Regina received an email to say she was one of the 22 runners who had attended the most sessions and had received a free LiRF course:

“I was completely shocked. I emailed our group leader Louise to check it was correct and she was just so happy. She knew the competition was on but just didn’t expect people in her group to win. It was amazing to actually win and I saw it as a sign so I took the LiRF course and just went for it.”

Regina found the LiRF course really useful and said she still looks back and refers to the materials now. She thought the online session was very interesting and enjoyed meeting other runners who have different groups and training styles. Regina also had some advice for those who may be looking to take a LiRF course in the future:

“I would say go for it because it’s another string to your bow and the course is interesting and easy to follow. I also felt more confident from having taken the course.”

Regina Hall with the Move, Walk, Run group in the Chilterns

Image: Regina (second-right) with the Move, Walk, Run group

Being a Run Leader can be a very rewarding experience. It can allow you to get further involved with your RunTogether group and continue to experience the sense of community that comes with group running. Regina explained what being a Run Leader meant to her:

“Being a run leader is a really positive experience for me. It keeps me in touch with the running community and gives me the chance to help and support others on their running journey. If I can help one other person the way the other Run Leaders helped me last year, that will be really positive and rewarding.”

Since the competition, there are about eight Run Leaders at Move, Walk, Run. Regina explained how there’s a real community feel within the group and that everyone supports and encourages each other. Regina described how she’s not the fastest runner but from day one she’s never felt like she was holding people up:

“Everyone loops back and nobody’s left behind. It’s such a friendly group and I’ve always felt like we’re working together.  I think without it I just wouldn’t have kept going.”

Regina now helps lead groups at Move, Walk, Run a couple of times each week and told us a little more about how the group operates:

Louise Wright set up the group in 2017 and it’s just grown since then. She now has around 60-80 runners and runs six sessions a week. Louise has been an absolute life changer for me. She’s such a positive person and just really loves running. Her energy is infectious and all those around her, myself included, have embraced her mantra that running can just make everything better.”

When asked about her plans for the future, Regina explained how she hopes to stick with the group at Move, Walk, Run and continue to support other runners. She may look at a LiRF-CiRF course in the future, but for now she hopes to consolidate on what she has learnt. After all, Regina only started running in lockdown:

“Within a year, I went from not being able to run a 5k, to completing a 10k, half marathon and then becoming a Run Leader. It’s been a rollercoaster but a really, really positive one.”

Has Regina’s journey from couch to Run Leader inspired you to take the next step with RunTogether? There are several LiRF, LiRF-CiRF and CiRF courses coming up in the next few months. To find a course, visit Athletics Hub.

  • Featured image: Regina (right) with Louise Wright
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