Mallusk Harriers’ Couch to 5k event proves a runaway success

Participants of the Couch to 5k programme put their best foot forward at Valley parkrun. INLT 27-936-CON

Participants of the Couch to 5k programme put their best foot forward at Valley parkrun. INLT 27-936-CON

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Mallusk Harriers have hailed the success of its Couch to 5K programme, ‘Run Newtownabbey’.

Those who completed the 10-week course graduated at the Valley parkrun.

The programme involved participants training three times a week, building on their training with a view of completing a 5 kilometre distance.

Tom Wylie, a coach from Mallusk Harriers, explained: “The club has an ethos of help and support for all its members and the local community.

“We were determined to organise a Couch to 5k programme and help get local people fitter.

“Run Newtownabbey was born and has been a phenomenal success. We were determined that the programme was offered for free to encourage as many people as possible to try it out.

“To this end, we were delighted when Kim O’Donnell, the community champion from Tesco Northcott was able to offer Tesco’s support for the programme.”

Kim said: “When Mallusk Harriers approached us for sponsorship we were delighted to be able to help, especially when we discovered two members of our staff, Diane Rushton and Kelly Bell, were actually taking part!”

Diane Rushton added: “I haven’t ran since high school and c25k has helped me develop a feel for running. Even though our training nights are finished, I still run and have signed up for the Belfast Titanic 10k Run.

Clare Kelly stated: “I found the training and graduation run a brilliant experience. With the help and support of the coaches, I did it! I plan to keep running and would recommend anyone.”

Ian Simpson said: “I’m a 54-year-old overweight non-runner. In Week One, I ran for 90 seconds and almost collapsed. By Week 10 I ran the 5k Valley parkrun. I would highly recommend Run Newtownabbey’s Couch to 5K.”