Olympic ace Helen backs running group

On your marks: Athlete Helen Clitheroe is supporting the Lancashire Sport Run Lancashire scheme
On your marks: Athlete Helen Clitheroe is supporting the Lancashire Sport Run Lancashire scheme

It’s not every day you get to join a free fitness class with an Olympic star.

But the opportunity is now on offer once a week in Preston, after Goosnargh athlete Helen Clitheroe hosted the first meeting of a new running group.

The Preston Harrier runner has been hosting open- air city workouts at Winckley Square and now Lancashire Sport are encouraging people of the Ribble Valley to get fit by setting up or joining their own Beginner Running group.

Beginner running groups currently meet at Clitheroe Castle Gate Monday at 6pm, Whalley Cricket Club every Wednesday at 6pm, and Sunnyside Avenue, Billington every Sunday morning at 9.30am.

It is hoped to set up more groups across the area, and if anyone is interested in setting a social group, they’re being encouraged to do the Leader in Running Fitness course.

The course is being held on December 2 and is subsidised by Lancashire Sport as part of the Run Lancashire scheme.

No previous experience is necessary for being a running leader, but an enthusiasm for fitness and supporting others in your area to get active is essential.

Helen Clitheroe, ambassador for Run Lancashire, said: “I’m very excited to be supporting the Run Lancashire groups and to be able to lead one myself.

“They are a great introduction to running and are fun and friendly sessions that go at your pace and help you to improve over the weeks.

“All you need is a pair of trainers. Whether it is round the park at lunch, after the school run or in the evening and at weekends with friends everyone can give it a go and improve their fitness as well as having fun and making new friends.”

The Run Lancashire scheme is part of the England Athletics recreational running programme, which aims to get the whole nation active through running.

To get involved, visit www.lancashiresport.org.uk to find out more about beginner running groups near you, or contact Jeannine on 01772 299830 to book a place to become a running group leader.