A woman from Northampton who used to write her own PE sick notes is now part of a team of runners who inspire others to lace up their trainers.
Katie Brown, who lives in East Hunsbury, decided a number of years ago to take up running in a bid to lose weight.
Fast forward a decade and the insurance broker who thought running would be an impossibility for her, is now part of a national team inspiring others to take up the popular past time.
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The 34-year-old said: “I’ve been running for about 10 years which is extraordinary really as I was the person who wrote my own sick note to get out of PE, I was the least sporty person ever.
“It felt like running was a complete impossibility.
“I was trying to lose weight and I was seeing all these people taking part in events and I wanted to get involved.
“It totally changed my life. It gave me a huge amount of confidence in myself and my ability.
“It gives you a whole umbrella of feelings. There’s a sense of achievement you get from sticking to something and keeping on going and telling yourself you can do it.
“It also gave my body confidence but not really in the common way, in the way that I think it’s pretty cool.
“From struggling to run/walk a mile to running ten to 13 miles, that is really impressive.
“It also gave me a chance to meet people and enjoy the social element.
“There are so many ways it benefits me.”
Katie’s passion for running and how it changed her life, gave her the opportunity to be part of a national inspirational running team set up by kit company, Brooks Running.
The ‘run happy team’, which Katie has been a part of since January, encourages those in the running community and motivates others to join.
She added: “We represent a really broad range of runners. We’re really inclusive and we’re not all 20-year-old athletes. Some of us just like to plod along.
“We run happy and like to encourage others along the way. If you want to walk a bit then that’s OK.
“We’re all over the place so here in Northampton I’m a bit on my own, so I normally interact with people via Instagram and my blog.
“On my blog I try to write things people can relate to. I share the food, fitness and lifestyle of an everyday athlete, for people working full time and mums, encouraging people to feel as good about themselves as possible.
“I share my own journeys and when they don’t go to plan as well as life is not always perfect.”
While the country is in lockdown, Katie believes running is as important as ever.
“It’s trickier at the moment, but I probably go out about three times a week.” Katie added.
“I normally run between 5K and 10K but I’m running a little less right now because of this new lifestyle but it’s incredibly important to me, it’s a chance to escape and I appreciate it so much more.
“I’d encourage others to run as well and my best advice would be just start and give yourself time.
“Running is one of these things people find hard and think it’s not for them.
“But when we were children we fell over walking but we would never say this walking lark isn’t for me.
“So just give it a try, don’t give up and don’t worry about walking.”
To find out more about Katie’s part in the national running team and her running journey, visit her blog.
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