I’m Sally, I’m 30 years old and I am a HR Manager from Didsbury.

I got into running as a fitness challenge to myself and I decided to enter the Morrisons Great Manchester 10k having never run before … EVER.

I appreciate that probably sounds crazy, but I wanted to do something that would be a challenge and that scared me as I knew it would force me to practice and get out there so that I could manage the run when it came to the 10k day. I also wanted to raise money for Francis House Children’s Hospice and I picked a goal that I knew my family and friends would support me with, hence selecting running.

I was very pleasantly surprised when I started as I think it’s very easy to assume ‘everyone will look at you’ and it couldn’t be further from the truth! I like the time it gives me to listen to music and unwind and best of all, it’s free.

When you are feeling a bit cooped up over the weekend or have spent a bit too long behind a desk at the office, I love getting outside, in the fresh air, pop some music on and just take some time for myself.

I find it relaxing and never set myself any targets, as for me it’s not about how long it takes me to go a certain distance as I don’t want to become a competitive runner, I just like the experience and the feeling it gives me afterwards.

It is very much mind over matter and I gave myself many reasons as to why I couldn’t possibly go out for a run, it’s cold, it’s raining, I’m tired, I need to colour coordinate my wardrobe etc, but once you get out there, even if it’s just for half an hour the feeling is addictive as you feel really great afterwards.

I think running out of all the exercises I do is the one that has raised my confidence the most. Everyone can run or jog or walk, yet it’s often the most overlooked in terms of raising your fitness levels. Having done the Morrisons Great Manchester Run 10K I felt and still feel so proud of myself. It has prompted me to go after what I want rather than wishing for it, I have ended up in my dream job in fashion and I can genuinely attribute that to starting running and building a greater belief in myself.

Having achieved this goal in 2014 I was also asked to help launch the search for Radcliffes Great Runners in 2015, and got the chance to meet running legend Paula Radcliffe. 

A quite flippant decision to do a run has benefited me in so many ways and I want to share my story and experiences to hopefully show people that you can do this. It will be hard, but if you just make a start then who knows where you will be in a years’ time?