Inspiring ‘fat to fit’ runner Rick given Citizen Award

Rick Wilson, right, won a British Citizen Award for Healthcare aftyer inpiring 1,000 Lancastrians to do a 5K.
Rick Wilson, right, won a British Citizen Award for Healthcare aftyer inpiring 1,000 Lancastrians to do a 5K.
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A man who has inspired and coached more than 1,000 people across Lancashire to run a 5K has been awarded the British Citizen Award for Healthcare.

Rick Wilson, 47, who works at Preston’s County Hall, developed the 5KGroupRun group after agreeing to take part in a charity run 18 months ago - despite being almost 20 stone at the time.

He said: “Everyone looked at me as if to say, ‘he can’t do that,’ and I thought: ‘Yes, I can’.”

He had to train independently after finding there was no beginners’ running group suitable for “people who could barely walk to the next lamppost”.

Since then Rick, who works for Lancashire Trading Standards, has inspired thousands of people - including 150 from Preston - to start running at the sessions at Blackburn’s Witton Park.

Rick, who recently became a grandad, now has over 1,000 people able to run 5km. His participants include three generations of one family, and runners aged from seven to 80.