Looking like a beached whale and feeling self conscious in my tight,
totally unfashionable jogging bottoms and trainers, which hadn't seen the
light of day in ten years, I trudged down to Wombourne Leisure Centre.
Running clubs conjure up images of young competitive athletes with
model bodies who get up at 5am to pound the pavements for hours without
breaking a sweat.
So I let out a sigh of relief (and my belly, which I had been holding
in) when I saw lots of ladies, young and old, in full gossip mode, ready
for an evening of fun.
Housewives, career women, students and grandmothers - everyone is
different and everyone has a story to tell but they all have one thing in
common - Dudley Ladies Running Club has changed their lives forever.
One such person is 30-year-old Sarah Thomas from Clover Lane in Wall
Heath, who last year weighed 19 stone. But through a mixture of
will-power, diet and running with Dudley Ladies, Sarah is now a trim 10
stone and is a role model and inspiration for anyone with a weight
"This time last year I would never have believed anyone if they said I
would be running six or seven miles - and enjoying it!" she says.
"I had been overweight pretty much for my entire life but at the age of
29 I was 5ft 3ins and I was as wide as I was tall. Diet alone wasn't going
to help me lose the weight and keep it off. I had always admired people
who said they were a runner, and to be able to say that too was the reason
I joined the club."