Bristol, be your greatest. To enter the Simplyhealth Great Bristol 10k visit: Greatrun.org/Bristol10k

If you’re thinking about signing up to take on your first running event at the Simplyhealth Great Bristol 10k on Sunday 5 May, you may not realise how much of a profound impact it will have on your life.

The 10k features 13,000 runners who take on the challenge every year, across a scenic course that makes the most of Bristol’s awe-inspiring surroundings.

Four mums from Bristol are in the middle of their training for the event, using the This Mum Runs Run60 training course and have spoken about how pulling on their trainers and getting out of the door has positively affected their lives.

Kitty Tomlin

I wasn't a runner, I had never run before as I somehow managed to avoid Cross Country races for the whole time I was at school.

Becoming a mum was pretty overwhelming, being in constant demand and learning to juggle parenthood with all the other aspects of life. Once my son turned two-years-old, I definitely needed an excuse for some me time.

Two of my best friends had been running with This Mum Runs for a while and somehow persuaded me to sign up for a Run30 training course.

I started in September 2017 and I loved it! Who knew there was a runner in me?

The running community is such a special one that brings people together who had literally never run before and This Mum Runs turns them into women who want to don their new trainers and get out there!

I'm definitely a social runner and love the chat and kinmanship that comes with a trot with a gang of other mums.

After completing the Run30 course I didn’t run for a year and I missed it so much. I had my second baby in November and now I am ready to get back out there. I am training for the 10k and can’t wait to take part.

Liz Hooper

I’m so excited and scared to be running the Simplyhealth Great Bristol 10k this year. I had originally planned to run the 10k in 2016 with my husband and a group of friends in memory of our daughter, Meredith, who was stillborn at term in June 2015.

The loss of Meredith affected our community and my lovely friends all rallied to help me adjust to life’s new normal without her. Running the 10k has given me a drive to raise funds for SANDS.

SANDS helped us to start to deal with losing a baby and also how to explain to Meredith’s big sister, Daisy, why I went into hospital to have a baby but came home with just a memory box.

Soon after training began, I discovered I was pregnant again with our rainbow baby. It I haven’t run very far since having Tilly but I am now so grateful for the opportunity to train and run for a cause I believe so strongly in.

Since losing Meredith, I’ve been very vocal about baby loss and have had some difficult conversations but truly believe that her death will mean that other babies can be saved.

Training has since been given so that my situation shouldn’t happen again but it’s one of the reasons we want to support SANDS as they provide training to midwives to help prevent stillbirth in cases such as mine.

Stacey Pottinger

Running for me is really very much about headspace and about supporting positive mental health as well as obviously helping me develop my physical health.

Physically, I have a few struggles. I was born with one muscle in my neck shorter than the other which would have led to me ending up with my ear more or less on my right shoulder.

I was initially denied treatment, but once we moved my Mum managed to convince the doctor I should be treated, luckily I had my first physio aged six, my first operation at eight-years-old and then one more aged 14.

It left me with some muscle imbalance which means the muscles don’t always seem to work how they should! When I was 20, after a couple of years of pain and six months of rapid weight loss, I was then diagnosed with ulcerative colitis.

After a few years of being pretty poorly I fought my way back to health and have rarely been ill with it since. Over the years these issues have challenged me not just physically but mentally, leading to me being diagnosed with depression.

Every now and again the problems flare up leaving me feeling fatigued and in pain but I’m lucky that I always have running to return to with This Mum Runs to help me. And however slow I might be running, I’m happy to be able to get out and get running and can’t wait to take on my first 10k in Bristol.

Rhiannon O’Sullivan

Before children I didn’t enjoy running at all. Occasionally I’d go for a jog but never managed more than a couple of kilometres. This started to change after having my son - I really enjoyed exercising, mainly because it gave me 45 minutes to myself.

After falling pregnant with my daughter, she arrived safely but by emergency c-section in May 2017. However, 5 months later, just before my son’s 2nd birthday I was diagnosed with cervical cancer.

The following few weeks were really tough for the whole family, not knowing what stage the cancer was or if it had spread. I had to wait for an MRI and meet with consultants who told me to prepare for a hysterectomy.

 I'm so grateful to have two beautiful, healthy children but the thought of losing my fertility at 29 was a tough one to take. In the end I was one of the lucky ones - within five weeks of diagnosis, I had surgery to remove most of my cervix and my lymph nodes but no further treatment was needed.

The next few months were full of ups and downs, trying to process everything that had happened while having two small children dependant on me.

Exercise in any form became my release and I really started to enjoy running. After two abdominal surgeries in six months, it was a slow start but a year on I’m starting to feel stronger physically and mentally.

To have the opportunity to run the Simplyhealth Great Bristol 10k is just what I need to keep me motivated in my training.

It's not always easy to drag myself out for a run at 8pm once the children are in bed but I never regret doing it. I will be doing the 10k to raise money for Penny Brohn UK who were so great after my diagnosis.

They help and support they offer families dealing with cancer is priceless.

Bristol, be your greatest. To enter the Simplyhealth Great Bristol 10k visit: Greatrun.org/Bristol10k