One Inspirational Woman
Jacqui Havercroft is just one of many inspirational ladies, and we've singled her out for her resilience, tenacity and her incredible achievements. There are many ladies like Jacqui out there, and she is a testament to the success of the 'set yourself a goal and never give up' mentality. She is an inspiration and illustrates just what can be achieved with a positive mindset.
HER RUNNING JOURNEY BEGAN IN 2014… I took part in a half marathon sponsored walk for charity. I had to practise to be able to complete the distance as I was quite unfit and easily out of breath.
One Saturday morning, soon after the half marathon walk, I drove past a large group of runners. I later found out that this was parkrun. I was still flying high after the walk and wanted to maintain the fitness I had gained so, without telling anyone, I went along and joined in. I went anonymously though; I didn’t register for the run and I just did two of the three laps, so I didn’t go through the finish funnel. It was tough and I walked most of it.
After a couple of weeks I decided to give it another go, but this time I registered and got my barcode. I was one of the last to finish and spent the whole time with the tail-runner. I decided to keep it up and every week, I turned up, ran and finished in the last 10. I never found it easy, but I always felt fantastic when I got my finish token at the end.
I started to make friends, and with that came the commitment to keep going. I even joined a small group who would run midweek. Again I was the slowest, but was kept motivated by the group of parkrun friends who I always ran with."
I developed a love/hate relationship and the pain was written all over my face but there was no way I was ever giving up
I developed a love/hate relationship with running, and I was just getting slower, but while the pain was written all over my face, there was no way I was ever giving up.
The same year that I ran my slowest 10K, I saw an advert for a running group in my local Up & Running shop.
I talked to the staff and they encouraged me to come along.
Initially I was worried that this was a real running club, with real athletes, that I would not fit in and I would be too slow. I was running at the back, but I never felt that I didn’t fit in and after 5 weeks I was rewarded with my yellow SRG t-shirt – I was officially part of the club. The SRG organised extra events such as trail runs and headtorch runs, but I was still apprehensive, and it took me a while to join in with these.
As my confidence grew, I looked forward to SRG nights and I loved being a part of this social running group where it didn’t matter who was the fastest. Everyone looked out for each other and gave encouragement. I lost weight and my running improved. My sub-40 parkruns became sub-30s and I took 20 minutes off my 10K time. I had most definitely turned a very big corner, and then SRG invited me to be an ambassador for the group. I was so proud.
Running had become a massive part of my life and I joined another local group, the Early Bird Run Crew; committing to running with other people forced me to keep it up.
The group is a mixture of experienced runners and novices and we all support each other and together celebrate our love of running.
Since then, I have run a very hilly local 10-mile race, and my first ever half marathon. I’ve signed up for another half marathon and I’m not ruling out a marathon one day.
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