This month we feature a recent joiner, Becky, who has quickly become a regular. Mind you, when she says NFR is the least competitive club she found on Google, we’d disagree – we have a ferocious competition every week for best cake…
“I moved to Newcastle in June 2019 for a new job, and was very excited to get to know a brand new city. I grew up in Sheffield and went to Warwick University, so I was looking forward to a bit of coastline and the return of the northern accent.
Sport was a big part of my school life; I was a keen swimmer, enjoyed trampolining and had a half hour walk to and from school every day. However my enthusiasm for sport was quickly surpassed by my love of playing in orchestras and wind bands (I still play oboe today!) and exercise became something “I used to do”.
During my second year uni exams, as the monotonous revision and inevitable sitting down all day was driving me slowly mad, I spontaneously decided to go for a quick jog around the block and discovered just how unfit I had become. My legs ached for days afterwards! But I gradually built up my distance and pace until I felt confident enough to go along to Coventry parkrun, something I’d wanted to do for a while, and I loved it.
Fast forward to moving to Newcastle, I knew I wanted to join a running club, as I was finding it difficult to motivate myself to run outside of parkrun. After a good Google search I found NFR to be the friendliest and least competitive of the local running clubs according to their websites, so I planned to go along to a session.
Unfortunately a slight kink in my plans appeared; in August 2019 I had a major operation on my abdomen and knew I had to build up my strength very slowly and carefully. I explained this in my enquiry email to NFR, unsure if this could be accommodated, and I was met with nothing but enthusiasm and welcome. I could run as much or as little as I wanted, the support was there regardless. The buzz I got from my first session (200m reps on a chilly Monday night) was fantastic! And I’ve never looked back.
I’m now running faster and further than I ever have done before, and I am a regular volunteer at Jesmond Dene parkrun, including being Run Director – I never knew shouting “3, 2, 1 GO” could be quite so satisfying.
I’ve met lots of friendly, welcoming NFR members (even if I can’t remember ALL of their names, they’re quite happy to remind me!) and thoroughly enjoy every session I go to. I’m working towards the Gateshead Half Marathon using NFR Sunday runs to get the miles in, and I’m really looking forward to some of the NFR Grand Prix events that are happening throughout the year.
NFR has made my move to the North much easier and I anticipate I’ll enjoy this club for many years to come.”