Richmond runners go from couch to completing Great North Run in a year

A group of six friends has gone from sitting on the couch to running the Great North Run in a year, raising more than £6,000 for charity in the process.

The women, all from Richmond, came together after joining the Swaledale Shufflers running group last year.

The aim of the group is to help people build up to running 5k.

The six women — Bernadette Martin; Charlotte Rogerson Helen Bastow, Sam Weston, Sarah Atkinson and Victoria Ball — surpassed this achievement by completing the Great North Run at the weekend.

Sarah said: “From couch to half marathon in 12 months is amazing.

“I am so proud of the gang. Every run we do together is filled with laughter, chat and fun. Exercising doesn’t have to be serious and finding these ladies and going on this journey together has been life changing for friendship and health.”

Sam added: “I’ve always wanted to complete the Great North Run, but never believed I was capable.

“The Swaledale Shufflers gave me the confidence to believe I could run as well as a group of amazing, inspiring friends to run with regularly.

“We’ve all been on our own running journeys this year, but we’ve done it all together and supported each other along the way. ”

Victoria said: “Despite a variety of injuries along the way, we kept each other going and most importantly, kept on laughing and having fun together.”

She added: “We are definitely now true athletes and will be giving Mo Farah a run for his money next time I’m sure!”

For more details on the Swaledale Shufflers, click here.