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Jane Hopkins, 36, is owner of the website www.mumsclub., a networking site for mums in business. She lives in Coleshill, Birmingham

“Last year I was determined to keep my New Year’s resolution to get in

shape because my son Jamie, who’s five, had started school and I’d seen all the other fit mums at the school gate. I wanted Jamie to be proud of me.

“I liked the idea of having a purpose to run so I teamed up with my fit friend Gill and we enrolled for a 5k Race for Life event in Sutton Coldfield. Having a training buddy worked so well for me because I didn’t want to let Gill down. If it had been a case of me going to the gym on my own, I would never have gone. “Gill and I found a 2.8km route round a beautiful

reservoir near our homes and we went running in the evenings. It was good to have some time to ourselves after working and looking after children and I started to look forward to our sessions. When we first trained I stopped six or seven times round the circuit, but nearer the event, we were running round the reservoir twice without stopping. That felt amazing! “Crossing the finishing line at the race was so emotional for me. I kept saying to myself: ‘I did it!’ We raised about £300 for Cancer Research and I’m still so proud of my medal. “Now I plan to keep fit all winter by doing three gym classes a week, then when spring comes I’ll already be fit enough to get out and run. I’m going to up my game next year and do a 10k. The best thing of all is being able to say: ‘I’m a runner.’ It sounds and feels so good!”


Kenneth Donaldson, 43, is a Director of Actuarial Services and he lives in south-east London “My wife Cathy started a new job for Save The Rhino, a conservation charity, and took over managing an event where the trustees were running six marathons in seven days over the Sahara Desert. I was inspired. It was the start of 2002 and I took a long look at myself in the mirror. I knew I wanted to change my lifestyle and this was the way to do it. “I did the New York Marathon that year and then in April 2003 I ran 150 miles across the Sahara in a rhino suit in seven days. After that I ran 150 miles across the Andes in seven days. I did another one in South Africa, and last year I did the Comrades Marathon, a 56-mile race which has to be done in 12 hours, wearing the rhino suit of course. I got home in 11:23! “Over the years I’ve raised about £60,000 for Save The Rhino and there’s still lots of running I’d like to do!”


Matthew Hudson, 29, is head of Business Development for an international


Gill Lewis, 35, is a

veterinary nurse, and she lives in Maxstoke, Warwickshire

“My New Year’s resolution is always to get more exercise, which is never hard to keep because I’ve always loved

exercising. I’d go to the gym twice

a day if I could! But last year I thought it would be nice to have a goal. That’s how my friend Jane and I came up with the idea of doing the Race For Life.

“The event itself gave us a real buzz and the atmosphere

was fab. We felt good about raising money and helping other people. I finished the 5k in 34 mins which I was pleased with. Now I’d love to do more races – maybe a 10k this year.”

company, and he lives in Hertford, Hertfordshire “This year my New Year’s resolution was to lose weight

and get fit, but although I joined a gym in January, we were halfway through the year before I did anything! “I was at a friend’s wedding with my wife, Joanne, in

July and a fellow guest (a runner) was talking about the commitment and training involved in doing the marathon. “When our friend suggested we tried the Bupa Great

North Run, we agreed because we thought we’d never get a place. But guess what? We got places! “I was18st 7lb, and had a 40-inch waist. But after 12

weeks I completed the run in just under three hours. “I’ve lost more than 3st 7lb and my waist is now 34 inches and I’ve signed up for another half in March. “I’m living proof that a New Year’s resolution can

work. No one hated running more than me but it’s given me so much energy. This year I’m going to carry on running – and give up smoking!”



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