We caught up with two of our club members who graduated through our beginner's group this time last year to ask them how they were getting on.

Here's Karen Gatehouse and Fiona Latimer to tell you their experience after completing the course.

In April of last year, a friend and I decided to sign up for the ADAC couch to 5k programme.  I hadn't run in almost 20 years and even then, never more than about a mile without struggling.  My intention was to be able to run 5k and maybe get in better shape before the summer - certainly no more than that.  

About 16 beginners turned up at the first session along with 5 or 6 ADAC members.  The group varied in age and ability but everyone was really friendly and incredibly supportive.  Barry, who led the programme, explained how it worked and off we went, the first week running for a minute then walking for a minute. Ten weeks later, I ran my first 5k (without stopping) in a time of 34 minutes and 32 seconds.  Job done.

I wouldn't say I actually enjoyed running initially, but the sense of achievement when I managed to go further or faster made it worthwhile, so after I returned from holiday I decided to go along to one of the weekly track sessions.  By now I'd met a fair few of the members and realised that what I'd previously thought was a serious running club for experienced runners, is actually just a group of men and women who love running and want to encourage other people to do the same.  Yes, there are some phenomenal runners (quite a lot actually) but everyone goes at their own pace and supports each other.  On top of that, it's just good fun!  

A year down the line, I've ran in three 10k races and have got my 5k time down to just over 29 minutes.  I'm never going to be fast, but I am improving.  There's no way I'd have kept up running, particularly over the winter months, if it wasn't ADAC.  Heading out on a cold, dark, wet December night to run round a forest and enjoying it? Really? 

I was supposed to take part in my first half marathon four weeks from now but Covid 19 has scuppered that.  I've more or less kept my training up though and plan to run on the day, albeit not in Edinburgh and not with my friends.  

Over the last month, ADAC has adapted and kept going, driven by the amazing Joe Boardman.  We're taking part in a virtual league which has provided some light relief from the day to day challenges we're all facing at the moment.  Some 'good natured competition' has kept us focussed and definitely lightened the mood! 

I can honestly say that taking the first step in going along to the beginners group was the best thing I've done in the last year.  I'm fitter, healthier and can pretty much eat as much post race cake as I want!  Aside from that, I've made some amazing new friends and am proud to be one of the ADAC family.  

I've also learned (thanks Norman) that age grading means getting older isn't actually such a bad thing.

I was looking for a local club that would help me get back to running 5k.  I saw the 10 week beginners course on the ADAC web page and started with Barry as our trainer in April 2019. Every session was different but always supported by friendly helpful members of ADAC. Once the beginners group graduated I wanted to continue and joined the track sessions on Thursday night with coach Joe and joined ADAC club. I've not looked back and love the ADAC family and have got some great friends now because of the club. I've run 10k races, done cross country runs, hill sessions and now training for a half marathon. Far exceeding my original plan to just run 5k. Even with lockdown Joe has kept us going with his weekly challenges. Thank you Joe and all the ADAC family.‚Äč

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