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Kate Neale #HealthyLuton Ambassador

Kate Neale #HealthyLuton Ambassador

Kate Neale

I got into running quite late, I was 47 and my 3 year old broke his leg. It was a really hard time and I needed some time out, something for me, but it had to be quick and very local. I started Couch to 5k in spite of hating distance running at school and after a few weeks I realised I was enjoying it. Now, 13 years later, running is a huge part of my life.

Trying to fit running into a busy day with work and young children was a challenge. Running with a 3 year old in a full leg cast in a buggy was too hard so I started going out at 6am, finishing back at home by 7am to get everyone else up and out for the day. After about 5 years I was able to run in the evenings so joined Stopsley Striders and once the children were old enough to be left alone (and to look after me when I got back!) I was finally able to commit to training for a marathon. I ran my first in 2018 and my second in 2019. My 3rd and 4th should be this year!

I got involved in Luton Wardown parkrun at the very beginning, nearly 7 years ago, and have watched with increasing pride as it has become one of the most diverse parkruns in the UK. Not only do we reflect the wonderfully diverse communities in Luton but we encourage and support walkers, joggers, runners and volunteers of all ages and all abilities and have a reputation as one of the friendliest parkruns around.

As lockdown put an end to parkrun, running clubs and any form of social running I noticed a lot more people were out running but presumably with no-one to support or advise them so I set up Luton Lockdown Runners online. This created a running 'group' when group runs weren't allowed and hopefully provided people with advice and motivation to share their running with others when we couldn't meet in person.

My most recent involvement has been with the women's running group as part of Revolution, supporting and encouraging women from the Muslim community to get into running. The group has only been going for 8 months but there are at least 5 different runs a week on different days and at different times to suit busy lifestyles. Participation at parkrun and in local races is building and we currently have about 40 people signed up for Race for Life.

I love running but I love introducing and supporting other people to run even more!