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“I am utterly head over heels deeply in love with running”

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KELLY COLLIER is a familiar face to anyone who does a lot of races in the North East. The 33 year old is a huge fan of racing both as a runner and as a supporter (you may have seen her at the Sunderland 10K marshalling in the rain with a megaphone). To Kelly though, Durham City Run is a very special one. The devoted wife and mum-of-three was born, raised and lives in Durham and for her there’s no better setting for a midsummer race. Kelly comments:

I absolutely adore my home town. I run here all the time. Durham has some of the most beautiful places to run on any terrain, in any weather at any time (yes, I have even run through the city centre at midnight on a Friday night!). There was no way on this earth I would miss the inaugural Durham City Run and I’m delighted that you chose to organise it on my doorstep…I might regret doing the 10k mind!!

Kelly started running on 4th September 2013  after having done her last lot of exercise during PE in year 11, 19 years earlier. She remembers the date well because it was the beginning of a C25K programme ran by Kate Macpherson from Elvet Striders, the lady behind the ever-growing “Durham Mums on the Run” group. Incredibly nervous, the thought of running and walking filling her with dread, Kelly took her first steps in running after losing an incredible 5st and hoping to lose a lot more.

Kelly told us: “I went along to the first session and, after a 5 minute brisk walk, started to run, with the aim of continuing to run for 2 minutes. Once I started………………I THOUGHT I WAS ACTUALLY GOING TO DIE! I stuck with it, sweated and panted and ached, for 120 long seconds (5 times). I really wasn’t prepared for what happened after I’d finished…….I utterly fell head over heels deeply in love with running!”

Kelly credits running for building her confidence and making very strong friendships, telling us that she has shared a lot, good and bad, with the groups she has run with over the years. Kelly started with a parkrun in November 2013 and has gone on to complete countless races including the Kielder Marathon and the London Marathon twice. Kelly is a massive fan of parkrun and notes her biggest achievement alongside completing the Couch to 5K, Elvet Striders’ most improved female runner award and numerous PBs, as May 2014 Durham parkrunner of the month (after 7 PBs in a row!) Kelly is now part of the core volunteer team at Durham parkrun where her sons now also take part in the junior run. When asked what running has done for Kelly’s life, she told us:
I always thought that the sweating and panting thing would get better, the fitter I got but what actually happened was that I still sweat and get out of breath in those first 2 minutes of a run, but I just don’t care any more. I’m physically and mentally fitter than I’ve ever been and running has brought so many wonderful people into my life… and I love pretty much every single race I ever do!

Since starting to run I have felt nothing but encouragement and support from fellow runners and in every race I’ve entered, there have been happy smiley cheering marshals and a real sense of achievement once you cross that finish line! I love marshalling and shouting, cheering generally making a bit of a racket whenever I can too…

Here at Events of the North we all wish Kelly a fabulous 10K on July 20th. We are sure you’ll flash that trademark smile in the finish.

Kelly is fundraising for Arthritis Research UK following her 6 year old son’s diagnosis earlier this year. To find out more or to donate, please visit https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/KellyCollier3

To find out more about Durham parkrun, visit http://www.parkrun.org.uk/durham/

 

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