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C25K – Running after a transplant by Gary Bolam

March 8th, 2016

2016 Couch 2 5k graduate, Gary Bolam, shares his thoughts on the programme and the obstacles he has overcome to get there:

By far one of the best ways to start the year. Such a supportive group led by even more supportive jog leaders who don’t leave anyone behind. Honestly. As the weeks fly by, you notice that you’re a little less out of breath and a little bit more of, dare I say it, a runner…then BANG! 9 weeks have gone and you’ve just done a 5k! Recreational runner with a timed 5k under your belt – who’d have thought that 9 weeks ago! Now, whilst there were certainly points when you question your judgement/curse even the mildest of hills on that graduation run, within a minute or two, okay maybe 5 minutes of finishing, you forget all that struggle and you’re cheering on the rest of the group as they make it to the finish line, being so happy of our Couch to 5K group and proud to be wearing a GFR t-shirt.

On a personal note, each run of the couch to 5k was like a mini victory for me. Repeating my ‘Finish Strong’ mantra at the end of each run, and the strength of the group kept me pushing to the very last. It’s an achievement many wouldn’t have thought possible for me looking back at my health record for the last 4ish years. Cue sob story of overcoming MRSA, meningitis, losing my first kidney transplant donated by my mum, peritoneal dialysis, peritonitis, a second transplant from my brother blah blah…the list goes on but I did it. Really, the main thing if you’re questioning whether to do it or not is that if I can do it lugging around two kidney transplants then you can too. A call to arms? Certainly. Do it! I loved every minute of it.

Now that the C25K is over I will need to become a regular at the GFR runs…I’ve signed up to the Edinburgh EMF 10k at the end of May, the Mens 10k in Glasgow in June and plans to go to the other parkruns…not to mention next weekend’s Duathlon team event that I’ve entered with fellow graduates Elaine and Ruth.

I’ve been well and truly bit by the running bug!