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From the Couch to Edinburgh 10k

June 7th, 2016

On January 7th 2016 GFR recruited a new batch of runners to begin a 9-week couch to 5k running programme. GFR supported members twice a week who gradually increased the distance they could comfortably run until they reached the 5km goal. The course finished with ‘graduates’ and GFR members running together at Victoria parkrun. Since then our graduates have become an integral part of the club.

Six of our graduates, Elaine, Ceri, Gary, Allan, Mark, & Sean, went on to complete a 5-to-10km running programme, with 5 of them entering the Edinburgh 10k together. GFR is very proud of their achievement.

Our next Couch to 5km programme will start in January, however GFR will do it’s best to support new runners at any point in the year. If you wish to find out more please contact our club secretary, David Cherry, In the meantime, here is how our 5 runners summed up their experience of running in Edinburgh.
Allan : I am genuinely amazed I managed to run all of the 10k after just 5 months of training. Having the support and encouragement of the front runners has been essential. I’ve made some great friends too and so I’m definitely going to keep training and having fun!

Gary: It must have been after a successful parkrun. Or on completion of the couch to 5k. Or maybe even after reading the grand prix run list that we thought it’d be good idea to sign up to the emf 10k. We’re trying to pin point who is to blame for the predicament we’re in. We’d just arrived in Edinburgh and thought we’d take a walk and look at the route. I, in my lack of attention to the details, thought the nice green bit on the route map was a flat park. How wrong. How very wrong. “No.. It can’t be this bit, it’s too steep.” And “No. Surely not.” Rings out in unison. We, 5 of us who started on the couch to 5k which quickly turned into the 5-10k group, are standing on a bloody mountain. Fog covered at the top – Not even a lie. ‘Undulating’ seems like some kind of in-joke the organisers had. So there we are. Race day. Mark and Alan in their new compression socks, the rest of us, checking energy gels, sweets and trying to turn the nerves to excitement, are at the start line. The first kilometre was flat, then it was assents on top of assents, an amazing decent, the longest loop round, then the most amazing thing. The 9km mark, the flags and cheering from such a supportive crowd. And there it is. The finish line. Which seemed so impossible at the start of the year. Last push of energy and we’ve done it. Each and every one of us finished in under an hour and 15 minutes. How the hell did we do that!? We’ll be wearing our hard earned emf 2016 t-shirts with pride. Medals too. Now, where’s that prosecco?

Elaine: I’m so glad I joined GFR as not only have I kept the running up enough to progress to doing a 10k I’m even enjoying it! If it wasn’t for the support, advice, encouragement and friendships made at GFR I might have given up (again) long ago. Thanks guys!

Mark: I joined GFR in January 2016 after a few of my friends had recommended I join. I quickly learnt to run in all elements – you name it, we ran in it – snow, hail, rain, wind – nothing stopped us. The encouragement, camaraderie and support from the group made the real difference for me and have now completed my 1st official 10k. Proud to be part of this group and long may it continue.

Allan Dickins          59m 46s
Sean Lepkowski     1h 5m 57s
Gary Bolam             1h 6m 34s
Mark Donaldson     1h 8m 32x
Elaine Coyle            1h 12m 29s