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Inspiration from Ballymena runners

Ballymena Runners are our local running club. They compete in almost every type of running from road to fell and they regularly arrange running groups to help beginners. Once runner have completed the Couch to 5km sessions then they enjoy running the Ecos Park Run which is held every Saturday morning.

Inspiration from Ballymena runners
Photo by Max Bender on Unsplash
Ballymena Runners have a great website which gives you lots of information, training times and ideas. We especially enjoy reading the inspiration section which shares stories of their members and how they got involved in running.
Here is one of the stories which we woudl lie to share here to inspire anyone who is thinking about taking up running but hasn’t yet taken the final step.
Inspiration from Ballymena runners
Photo from the Ballymena Runners website


Our Running Stories: Aine

I didn’t come from a very active family but when I first met John, he was training for his very first marathon.

I basically thought he was a bit mad when he ventured out on all sorts of weather to build up his running miles.

Eventually I tied John down and we got married and life got very hectic with the arrival of the kids. But John kept running – probably to escape the madness at home!

I wondered what the appeal of running was. At that stage there were not many Cosy Sofa programmes and I didn’t want to be seen struggling with my running around the roads.

This problem was solved when we moved out to live in the country and I started to walk/run around the backyard when no-one was about or so I thought until John witnessed me doing about fifty laps – this running on hard concrete is not recommended as I ended up with plantar fasciitis!

Salvation came with the setup of Ecos parkrun, I was fortunate to be at the first run in March 2012. Here I was able to take fledging steps in completing a 5k distance with encouragement and guidance of experienced runners.

Through parkrun I met many Ballymena runners who were very encouraging, and the next logical step was to join a running club even though I still did not classify myself as a runner.

Through the club I was able to increase my running distance to 10k and eventually to half marathon distance. I tentatively started in the 10 minute group and worked my way up through 9:30, to the 9s and I’ve just recently started in the 8:30s.

Sometimes I went willingly to the next group, sometimes I was gently coaxed and sometimes on step up weeks I was dragged along!

More importantly through running I have met some wonderful inspiring people and have made some great friendships. I have been to places I would otherwise never have been – up mountains and through forests etc.

I have enjoyed doing the relay in the Belfast Marathon, experienced cross country, competed in the Golden Mile, Race Over The Glens, Fairhill 5 and I intend to try out some of the trail runs next.

Socially the Club has organised many good nights out – the Christmas dinner, the club disco, the summer barbecue and the Santa Run to name but a few.

Of course, one of the most important is The Big Feed after a race – how the thought of a bun at the end of a race has kept me going the last mile or two when things are getting tough! This is a great time to mull over every aspect of the race with your fellow runners, often spending two hours talking about a one hour race run!

All in all, I think it’s safe to say I’ve caught the running bug. I hope my children continue to run throughout their lives as you can run no matter where you are – all you need is a pair of trainers and off you go.

As for my siblings … well they think I’m mad and blame John!

We have really enjoyed reading these inspiration running stories from Ballymena Runners. To read more visit the Ballymena Runners website and follow Ballymena Runners on Facebook here.