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A free programme to get Middlesbrough’s communities running is proving a big success.
The Willmott Dixon Community Training Programme is aimed at inexperienced runners who want to do the Middlesbrough Tees Pride 10k.
Middlesbrough’s flagship running event takes place on Sunday, September 4.
Organisers are hoping it will be the biggest running event ever in the town with a target of 5,000 runners for the 10k.
The Willmott Dixon Community Training Programme is led by qualified leaders and is informal, fun and friendly.
It enables people over the age of 16, no matter what their previous running experience, to get fitter, raise self-esteem and lose weight with the ultimate goal of crossing the 10k finish line.
The weekly sessions are taking place at four venues in the town – the Neptune Centre, the Southlands Leisure Centre, Albert Park (twice weekly) and Hemlington Recreation Centre.
Around 80 – 90 runners are taking part every week and more are welcome. People just have to turn up to register.
Jimmy Wattis, Race Director, said: “The Willmott Dixon Community Training Programme is encouraging people of all abilities to take up running and help them achieve the fantastic goal of running in the 10k.
“Participants are gaining confidence, improving their fitness and losing weight all with the help of qualified running leaders.
“It’s an ideal way for people who have always planned to do the run but never got round to it to make that plan a reality.”
The participants are really enjoying being part of the sessions.
Aimee Martin, aged 16, from Eston, said: “I feel really good about my achievements each week, it’s been great for my confidence.”
Kevin Monaghan, aged 47, from Ormesby, said: “I had a bet with a couple of friends that I could complete the 10k in a reasonable time and this training programme is proving perfect.”
Julie Mannering, 46, said: “I wanted to start running but I wasn't confident to go out on my own then I heard about this running programme.
“It has given me the opportunity to train with a group of wonderful people of mixed abilities, and ages and it is brilliant.”
Nick Kirton from Thorntree said: “I wanted to be able to run a bit quicker and faster after I started running with Jimmy Wattis and the sessions have proved ideal.”
Tracy Watson, 42, Berwick Hills said: “I was inspired by one of the group (Nick) who had just started running and he encouraged me to come along and I'm now really hooked!”
Anthony Dillon, managing director at Willmott Dixon, said: “We think this is a fantastic idea and are delighted to be given the chance to sponsor it.
“We also work hard to promote fitness and well-being, whether it’s on our building sites or in the community, and this initiative is a great way to reach out and get more people to take part in the Middlesbrough Tees Pride 10k.”
To take part in the Willmott Dixon Community Training Programme just turn up at the venue on the set day and time. For more information visit www.runmiddlesbrough.com or call 01642 515672.
To register to take part in Run Middlesbrough events also see www.runmiddlesbrough.com
Neptune Leisure Centre every Monday, up to August 29, from 6.15pm to 7.15pm.
Southlands Leisure Centre every Tuesday, up to August 30, from 6pm to 7pm.
Albert Park every Wednesday, up to August 31, from 6.15pm to 7.15pm.
Hemlington Recreation Centre, every Thursday up to September 1, from 6.15pm to 7.15pm.
Albert Park, every Sunday, up to August 28, from 9.15am to 10.15am.