THIS group is the first to graduate from an Ilkley Harriers course which has taken them from being non-runners to being able to complete a 5K in just six weeks.
Coach and club chairman Jane Bryant said the philosophy of the course was simple. "We want people to have some fun and get fit enough to run a 5K with the support and knowledge of experienced runners and coaches.
"All too often people give up because they have run too far too quickly and they get demoralised. We have developed a six week course which allows you to develop at your own speed and as importantly we will show the runners how to warm and down as well as stretch to prevent injuries."
The course started on May 6 with a mixture of running and walking and culminated in the final 5K on June 10, which 26 runners completed, the youngest being aged 20, up to runners in their 60s.
The end of the course culminated in a Pimms party organised by the Ilkley Harriers where Jane and her assistants Helen Horton, Nigel Tapper, Emma O’Looney and Paul Sugden gave out certificates and Ilkley Harriers water bottles.
"It has been truly inspiring to coach these runners," added Jane. "From the first evening when I could see the looks of fear and apprehension I look at them now and I see a huge difference they are a confident group of athletes who are ready to join the running community.
“Many have set their sights on completing local park runs and a number have committed to joining the Harriers which welcomes runners of all abilities."
The course will run again in 2015. For more information about the Harriers contact Emma O'Looney at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit ilkleyharriers.org.uk