Sarah’s RunTogether story of perseverance, family, and rediscovering the love of running

Sarah Bookham Waterside Runners 2

At RunTogether HQ, we love nothing more than hearing from our fantastic RunTogether community! Whether you are wanting to complete your first 5km, consistently run once per week or build up to a marathon, we want to celebrate it all however big or small.

We recently caught up with Sarah Bookham of Waterside Runners, who got into running with the help of her friend, Sam.

“My running journey first started in 2019 where I joined a local running group doing C25k with my friend Sam in the hopes of being able to run a 5k continuously. Sure enough after 12 weeks we did it, but soon after I started suffering from severe pain in my hip area and after seeking advice which didn’t improve the pain, I gave up on running.”

Sarah’s running story doesn’t stop there! Through perseverance, family encouragement and some adjustments to her kit, she started running again.

“Fast forward to January 2021, my New Year's Resolution was to try and start running again. This time I dragged my mother-in-law out with me who had never ran in her life but as she was creeping closer to 60 wanted to try something new and push herself.
“So slowly each week we completed a Couch To 5k session, with each run becoming longer the hip pain started to rear its ugly head again so I treated myself to a new pair of running trainers and just like that no more hip pain!”

Waterside Runners group photo

Sarah Bookham (back row, second left) with Waterside Runners

Being able to run injury-free was an incredible victory for Sarah, and she wanted to explore running a little more after completing her Couch To 5k programme. Luckily her friend Sam remained positive and encouraging and introduced Sarah and her mother-in-law to RunTogether.

“Seven months in to running and throughout those seven months my friend Sam was constantly suggesting I join her running group but until I knew I could run a 5k continuous again I didn't want the pressure of being the non-runner in a group of runners.
“So, in August 2021 I finally gave in and came to my first Run Together group Waterside Runners. Now I can say I must have previously only picked flat routes as my first session was a bit of a shock as the groups run consisted of a couple of gradual inclines and declines finished off with climbing the biggest hill in the area. 
“No matter how much I felt like I'd let my fellow runners down I had constant support, and not once did they make me feel like a failure or that I'd held them back.
“Since that first session I've never looked back, both myself and my mother-in-law attend sessions weekly (on most occasions 3 times a week) and since joining with the help of our Waterside Runners Group we've ran our first 10km followed by two more and have also signed up for our first Great South Run of 10 miles this October!
“I couldn't ask for a better group of people with a variety of capabilities all supporting one another on their journeys.”

This final line from Sarah perfectly sums up the core of RunTogether, supporting people of all abilities, ages, ethnicities in all locations throughout the country to enjoy running as part of a friendly and supportive community!

  • If you are completely new to RunTogether and would like to find a group in your local area, visit our website and enter your postcode.
  • Would you like to expand the RunTogether community and create a new group in your local area? Get in touch with our support team who can help you achieve your goals:
  • Featured image: Sarah Bookham (third left) with Waterside Runners
Sarah Bookham Waterside Runners 2 blurred out