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The Pink Plodders: Proof You Can Do It

Claire Mosson, 35, set up Pink Plodders, a beginners' Jog Derbyshire group in Chellaston, Derby which has gone from strength to strength. We talked to her about why she set up the the group but started by asking how she got into running...

The Pink Plodders.

An unusual return to jogging

I started running as a teenager, was a sprinter at school and represented the county. Some of the happiest times of my younger teenage years were spent travelling Devon on a coach going to various track meets for the day!

Then I found boys, and going out partying and everything stopped. I returned to running in around 2005, when Paula Radcliffe dropped out of the 2004 Athens Olympics Marathon and 10k

I voiced in a conversation that I believed as she had chosen to run, despite knowing she wasn't on her game, she should have at least finished the 10k. A friend bet me that I couldn't run a 10k so here I am now regularly running 10 miles every Sunday for peace and sanity.

it was mostly about proving a friend wrong, I had no idea just how much I would fall in love with it. Having been a sprinter, anything more than 400m was a distance race for me.

Taking up the challenge.

Forming the pink plodders

I had heard of Jog Derbyshire, and loved the fact that they helped people who simply didn't have the confidence to either run on their own or join a 'Running Club'.

They are scary places to someone who doesn't run, in fact I joined a road running club in 2005 for one run and they literally told me to my face I was too slow to join them!

We started in April 2014, and have mostly jogged on the Canal Path and local park. This week, we did our very first run in view of passing traffic. It was a massive achievement for the group, most of whom hadn't really run at all before they joined us.

We usually cover two miles as a minimum, but the routes are designed so that faster people can loop back. This way no one has to worry about holding anyone up, in fact the slower the back person, the harder the fastest ones have to work!

Fun in the mud.

A mixed ability group

For a start, it was purely a beginners group. The beginners are obviously now getting fitter and faster but we are still very mixed in ability.

We will always remain a starting point for anyone who would like to start jogging. No one is made to feel bad about being slow, as we can all remember those first hard steps.

We have a Facebook page - Pink Plodders Chellaston (which now has more than 120 Likes) where everyone comments afterwards and during the week. We have lots of positive feedback about how much fun and how friendly the group is.

We all have to start somewhere

I absolutely LOVE watch them all grow in confidence and support each other, but the main thing I enjoy is watching the realisation on their face once we have finished that actually 'they can do it'.

We all had to start somewhere. A mile is still a mile whether you finish it in 20 minutes or 4 minutes. Come along, do it once and then decide. It doesn't have to be a chore; we have fun whilst we run.

We run each Sunday at 9.15am from the Chellaston Medical centre Car Park. Full details on www.pinkplodders Just £1.50 per week that you run.

We have entered as a Team in the Nottingham Run or Dye Colour Run in October and in July me and two other Plodders are took on the JCB Mud Run to raise funds for Rainbows Children's Hospice – it's all good fun here!

Like Pink Plodders on Facebook

You can also click on the relevant link to find your nearest JOG Derbyshire group or sign up.