Suzanne Fitzgerald – Move, Walk, Run
20 September 2022
A few weeks ago, we had the pleasure of speaking with Regina Hall, a member of the RunTogether group Move, Walk, Run who went from not running at all to completing a half marathon and becoming a Run Leader in just over a year!
Regina explained how she may never have taken the LiRF course if it wasn’t for the competition we ran back in March. In honour of Birmingham 2022, the 22 runners who attended the most sessions received a free LiRF course. This week, we had the pleasure of hearing from another of our competition winners, Suzanne Fitzgerald, who is actually part of the same RunTogether group. We ran a Q&A style session with Suzanne who was kind enough to tell us more about herself and her running journey.
Can you tell us a little more about yourself and how you first got into running?
My name is Suzanne Fitzgerald and I’m 51 years old. I’m self-employed and live in Princes Risborough. I’m married with three grown up children. The whole family are into fitness in one way or another.
I have always been active and attempted running on and off throughout my life, but I was just never consistent until I met Louise Wright, founder of Move, Walk, Run. I approached Louise initially for the nutrition side of things and it was then that I decided to have a go at the 0-5K challenge that she offers, alongside Reset and Run (a 28-day nutrition programme for women who run or are active). This was in May 2021, and I have been running consistently with Move, Walk, Run ever since.
Can you tell us a bit more about Move, Walk, Run?
Move, Walk, Run is a ladies trail running group. We run in the Chiltern hills and local countryside. The group is very inclusive and accessible for all abilities of runner. We use the loop back system which works so well for everyone, meaning that the fastest runners get a good distance in and the slower runners never feel left behind. Each run is varied and never the same as the last. In winter, we do interval training one evening per week as well as some pavement runs when the weather allows.
Were you surprised to find out you had won the competition?
Yes, it was a complete surprise to be named one of the winners for the LiRF competition! I didn’t realise that the competition was running until I got the email offering me a place on the course. In fact, I thought it was spam and almost deleted it. It was great to hear that one of my running buddies from Move Walk Run, Regina, also won. We didn’t hesitate to get booked on the course and haven’t looked back since. I never thought at my age that I would become a consistent runner and be part of such an amazing running group, nevermind a Run Leader!
Did you enjoy the LiRF course and find it useful?
I found the course really interesting and easy to get through. Some of safeguarding and first aid I knew already because of my work but it was good to have the refresher. Making the videos to upload was lots of fun too. The course was all done online so we could access it and complete the modules at our leisure. We had one interactive classroom session online to finish the course and sign us off.
What does being a Run Leader mean to you?
I’m proud to be able to say that I’m a Run Leader. It means a lot to be able to help out and lead runs with Move, Walk, Run. We now have eight Run Leaders in our running group which is great. Not every Run Leader is on every run of course but there are usually a few of us on each run. This means that we can offer a place to more people wanting to run with us and the extra help is always useful to keep watch and if there are any incidents etc.
Do you have any plans now that you’ve taken the course e.g. additional courses, leading groups etc.?
I don’t currently have any plans for further courses but then I didn’t plan on this one so you never know what might come your way. Keeping an open mind and embracing these opportunities when they come along is always a good thing! I’m very happy being part of the team for Move, Walk, Run and leading groups when necessary. It’s not where I thought I’d be when I did the 0-5K a little over a year ago. I am the happiest and healthiest I’ve ever been!
Has Suzanne's story 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.