A running craze is getting off the starting blocks in Preston.
People who struggled to jog for even one minute are now limbering up for their first 5K run, all thanks to the city’s first Couch to 5K group.
It’s all the idea of Angela Trafford from Walton-le-Dale, who experinced the scheme in Blackburn.
The 46-year-old full time mum said: “There’s a big scene in Blackburn and I decided to join because I was middle-aged, overweight and out-of-shape.
“I really enjoyed it and at a Slimming World meeting some of the others were saying it was a shame we don’t have something similar in Preston.”
In September Angela began the nine-week plan that sees members running together three times a week.
So far around 40 people have taken part, with runs setting off from The Hunters pub in Hennel Lane, Walton-le-Dale.
The training is based on NHS Couch to 5K advice, building up longer runs from intermittent walking.
Angela added: “Our motto is that we start as a group and finish as a group. People do run at different speeds, so we do re-groups were people at the front run back to those at the back.
“We all encourage one another and it helps now the weather had turned.
“It’s amazing to see people improving. Different people are doing it for different reasons, such as losing weight for a wedding or battling depression. We did our first 4.5k on Monday and everyone’s so emotional and so proud to achieve that.”
The inaugral 5K run for the group will take place on November 9 at 6.30pm, with marshals on the route.
Caroline Preston said: “I could not run for a minute with out getting out of breath eight weeks ago. Now I cannot wait to reach the finish line. I feel great and have made lots of friends who support each other though the runs.”
Tammy Jayne Smith, who has lost six-and-a-half stone since April 2015, said: “I could never have imagined myself running for five seconds at my biggest never mind a 5k. The group has given us so much support and my confidence has grown so much, the friends I have made are all amazing people.”
Caz Hutchinson said: “It has not only made me feel healthier but has also boosted my confidence, energy and I have also met a lot of new friends through C25K.”
The rund are led by volunteers at people’s own risk and are free to attend.
Join the C25K Preston group on Facebook.