ERR ‘You Can Run’ Collaboration – report by Laura Leach

In autumn 2020 six staff-members at Eynsham Medical Centre formed a “You Can Run” group in a collaboration with Eynsham RoadRunners. Ian and Marisa Keeley kindly coached our staff through their weekly group-run, building up their running from beginners to the fantastic achievement of completing a 5k run. All this happened in under 10 weeks!

Not only did our runners achieve their goal, but, importantly, the weekly runs grew to be enjoyable. “I initially found it hard for the first few sessions and couldn’t imagine running for 5K! However, as the weeks progressed, I could feel my stamina improving bit by bit. I have really enjoyed having some time out for myself and getting fitter.” The concept of running in a (socially distanced) group was also new, but became an aspect of the programme that helped: “Running with others was great motivation to keep going. Not only do you not want to let anyone down, the inspiration we got from each other really helped.” 

In a challenging year our group’s enjoyment and success has been a wonderful thing for us to celebrate at the medical centre. Furthermore, their enthusiasm has rubbed off on others: more staff have enquired about getting into running since hearing of the group’s achievements.

Many, many thanks to Ian and Marisa Keeley who supported and coached the group; you both contributed a lot of time and this made a huge difference to its success. Your ingenuity in the face of the ever-changing covid19 restrictions was impressive to say the least, and the tips and guidance you gave the group was appreciated immensely. I think the runners sum it up: “Running with a coach was crucial in helping us to push past what we thought were our own capabilities – it would have been very easy to keep running gently or not to go so far. Ian and Marisa were so helpful and on the night two of us ran our 5K, the support from them and others in the running club was lovely”.  

Our staff-runners are keen to keep going. It sounds like Eynsham Roadrunners have found some new recruits!  

Laura Leach