Barnsley Mother Runners Take On AJ Bell Great North Run

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The 2023 AJ Bell Great North Run will have the privilege of hosting Sir Mo Farah’s final competitive race. While his professional career has enthralled and inspired millions around the world, his personal story also demonstrates the power of running to change lives.

Like thousands of those lining up alongside him, running has had a truly transformative effect on his trajectory. At this year’s Great North Run we’re uncovering the stories of ordinary people whose lives have been changed by running in many ways, big and small, to inspire others to take the first steps on their own running journey.

Mother Runners are a community of runners based in Barnsley, brought together by Kayla Kavanagh just before the pandemic. The group is now 100 strong and has created a non-competitive, social community for mothers from around the city, give them time each week to focus on themselves.

Founder Kayla Kavanagh explains, “Mother Runners started in 2020 literally just before the pandemic. It started because I’d finished my couch to 5k journey and realised that I was not really enjoying being on my own every single run.

“So I popped a post on Facebook asking ‘does anyone fancy getting together for a run?’ And we now have over 100 members.

“Running is probably the most important things for us as Mums for mental health.

“Whether you’re running on your own or whether you’re running with the other ladies from Mother Runners. It provides that opportunity for you to get out of your own head and just to chill, from head to toe.

“Over the three years; we have seen members who bring with them a variety of different mental health problems. The group has become a family; a community who support one another through; not only the physical; active running; but more importantly; the sense of support and friendship.

“We have taken women from couch to 5K to full marathon level; and others who wish to run socially and enjoy the therapeutic benefits.

“There are quite a few from our club; taking part in the great North run this year for a variety of charities; and we are all looking forward to taking part in the challenge!

“I’m also running to bring awareness of the fantastic work that BEAT does through fundraising for them at the event.  With lived experience of anorexia; I understand the difficult balance between fuelling and over exercising; and BEAT has really helped me change my perspective.”

Kayla will be taking part in the 42nd Great North Run on Sunday 10 September alongside members of Mother Runners and 60,000 others, making it the biggest half marathon in the world. The iconic course starts in Newcastle city centre and finishes 13.1 miles later in the coastal town of South Shields. Many runners will be taking part to support worthy causes, raising an estimated £25 million pounds for charity.

The event will be shown Live on BBC One from 10am until 2pm.

For more information click here.