‘I find running has been really good for my mental health; it’s my time’
Claire will be running the Great Birmingham 10K raising funds for United By 2022, the post-event legacy charity for the Birmingham Commonwealth Games.
Claire Terry decided to take on the Couch to 5K challenge just months before lockdown hit and within nine weeks she was up and running on a regular basis.
“I’ve never been a runner; in fact I remember my PE lessons at school and I always walked the 1,500m,” says the Moseley mum-of-two. “But in September 2019 I just decided I needed to do something to get fit and found Couch to 5K a great way of doing that. I now run 5K every Sunday, and in the last two and a half years I have only missed three runs.”
Her new-found enjoyment has spurred her on to take part in next month’s Great Birmingham Run, and she is using her latest challenge to raise funds for the charity she works for.
Claire is currently on secondment to Birmingham 2022 as Legacy Plan and Legacy Charity Lead – a role that encompasses capturing the cross-partner legacy work catalysed by the Games and laying the foundations for the new charity to ensure that legacy doesn’t stop once the Games are finished.
“Birmingham 2022 and the Commonwealth Games are bringing people together, improving health and wellbeing, and putting the city on the map,” explains Claire. “By establishing United By 2022, we are building a community fund will that extend the best projects from the Games, offer grants to fund new ones and keep taking legacy into diverse communities and the places that need it most.
“We want to empower people to solve challenges on their doorstep, champion fairness and inclusivity, and turn Games’ venues into well-loved and used community spaces. Our work will continue long after the big events have finished, helping those with the greatest needs to level up through jobs and skills, volunteering and youth social action.”
Claire will be joining a group of runners from the charity to take part in the 10K, which starts in the city centre, heads out along Pershore Road to Cannon Hill Park before looping round world-famous Edgbaston Cricket Ground and through Digbeth to the grandstand final and post-run party village at the Aston University campus.
“I’m very slow so I’m not going to be breaking any records on the day, but I see it as a real challenge for me. I’m middle aged and not that fit, but if I can do this than anyone can do it,” says the 46-year-old. “Working on the legacy of the Commonwealth Games has really inspired me to take part. It’s not about being the next great athlete, but about getting active and being involved in something that you wouldn’t normally do.”
The Great Birmingham half marathon and 10K will take place on the same day and are open to runners of all ages and abilities, many of whom are raising funds for causes close to their heart, or as a fitness goal.
“I find running has been really good for my mental health, especially during the pandemic; it’s my time. And although sometimes I have to really push myself to do it I know how much better I feel afterwards.”
The Great Birmingham Run takes place on Sunday, May 1, for more information or to enter click here.