Skip Navigation


Although I enjoyed sport in my youth, including the oft-maligned cross country run, once I had left school, I stopped taking part in any sporting activity altogether. However, my husband was a marathon runner and we decided it would be a good idea for me to join in. I lasted about three weeks and managed, at most, to run a mile! It was a disaster and I stopped. When my husband died, I wanted something to do with my time and when my step son took me to my local Park Run, I loved it. I loved the atmosphere and went again the following week. I loved it again. I also, in a post run conversation with a complete stranger (at the time), heard about Jogging Pals for the first time and how it had been a positive experience for a number of her family members. A short time later I saw a Jogging Pal’s poster, remembered the name and decided to sign up. As I’d already managed to get round a couple of Park Runs, I decided to join a Couch to 5K programme part way through, with a view to taking part in the Groggy Doggy Boxing Day race with my son in Norfolk.
Joining Jogging Pals was the best thing I’ve ever done. Since my first, part Couch to 5K, I have been on the 5K – 10K course, a number of Improvers’ courses and the 10K – 20K course. What was brilliant was that, for the first year, nobody knew anything about me; I was just Penny. On the anniversary of my husband’s death, a group of us had arranged to go to Park Run and I couldn’t get out of the car as I got a bit upset. What I hadn’t realised was that the Jogging Pals were waiting outside the car for me and so, as I’d been crying, I thought I’d better tell them what was going on, that I wasn’t just some mad woman. So I did. We then ran round together and I really felt the support of all of them. When we finished we had some big hugs and I was so pleased that we had all run it for David. I realised then what an amazing bunch of new friends I had.
Who’d have thought that at nearly sixty I would be running my first half marathon. I just laugh at the situation all of the time; I’ve gone from someone who didn’t run at all to this. I might not be built for speed, but this is me now! I just love the trail runs and although I’m not good at running on my own, I’ve found Jogging Pals to be really inclusive; nobody gets left behind and people will always wait for you to make sure that everyone is part of what’s going on. They’re always supportive (of us as people as well as runners) and there’s a real cross-section of people involved. You come along and you have a giggle, but you’re also getting motivated and I feel this is promoted by the ethos of the whole group. I’m also amazed that, as a result of the running I’ve done in and around Kendal, that I’ve now been on a running holiday near Limoges in France.
Running is now part of my life.
I joined jogging pals and have dipped in and out of it twice never getting to the final goal of the 5k due to personal issues, but I finally signed up 8 weeks ago and whilst it was hard at times the tremendous support and motivation that was given by everyone was a driving reason to keep on moving forwards. Yes still had personal issues and pressure of work but this time I wanted to do it and with the support of Paula and Helen I was going to do it.
Helen you were great come rain or shine your sense of humour and enthusiasm was a driving force and my weekly jogging partner Paula you have been simply amazing picking me up when I fell and standing by with words of encouragement as I honked up
I cannot thank you enough for getting me to this point and that goes for you to Wayne what a great crowd you all are.
Seeing you all waiting for me to finish last night was overwhelming Thank you all so much
Bring on the next challenge because I know with your help I will do it.
I started Jogging Pals in Jan 2016. When I started these were the jeans I used to fit into (just!) I was over 17 stone in weight and slower than a snail.
I met some lovely people Glyn Rose, Wayne Singleton, Helen Pye, Ian Manderson and a few others.
I got rained on, snowed on and eventually got a dry night too!!! BUT despite nearly talking myself out of it I completed the 8 weeks. My finishes are legendary eh Wayne, but I did it and despite some wobbles I have carried on running. Mostly alone as my anxiety is worse when I am in a group as I feel I am holding people up etc. But I run and I love it now. I am 52 and still 5 stone overweight however I am shrinking and I am better at running every day. So keep at it when your 8 weeks finish. Go out and run you may bump into me the slow plodder say hi and plod along with me a while.
I enjoyed last night – I met up again with some good friends and yes Helen Pye I WILL SIGN UP FOR THAT 10K!
your JP friend Kathy xxxTestimonials
I’m going to try not to waffle but felt I needed to put this here.
A huge THANK YOU to Jogging Pals for helping me change my life.
Ten years ago I broke my ankle badly which stopped me doing much exercise so I got lazy and gained weight. I couldn’t even run across the road or I’d end up with pains in my ankle for days afterwards.
Six years ago I weighed 19 stone and started walking more when I sold my car. I dropped some weight then it stopped at 17 stone.
Just over two years ago I started a job in home care, working on foot I was doing strange hours and walking miles every day. Then I moved into a job in a nursing home and was in my feet for 12 hour shifts and had lost a lot more weight.
I had to stop working last June and realised weight was creeping on and I wasn’t as active. I was thinking about jogging when the Jogging Pals posted on local groups about the c25k course so I signed up.
It was hard work at first. Everyone was quicker than me, I struggled to notice any progress and I nearly gave up. No matter how slow I was Glyn, Wayne and Helen gave me nothing but encouragement and praise which kept me going.
In the final night of the course I jogged without stopping once for the full 5k and I was elated. By the end I’d realised I’m a tortoise. I’m slow but steady and I get there in the end.
This tortoise hasn’t given up. After 5 weeks of no running due to two colds I’m running again and today I did over 7k on my own.
I’ve discovered I’m not built for speed but I’m good at steady running so I’m working on distance. This week I’ve registered and got a place in the Great North Run! Who’d have thought a few months ago that I’d be entering a half marathon!Carla Richardson
TestimonialsI joined jogging pals in June 2016 and can honestly say it’s been amazing. Prior to joining jogging pals I was over weight and incredibly unfit. 9 months later I have lost 3 1/2 stone and now run 5k at least 3 times a week, I’ve joined jogging pals on a few of their guided runs and have made some great friends along the way. I’m currently on the improvers course and I’m looking forward to the 5-10k course. I would highly recommend jogging pals to anyone, I certainly haven’t looked back.