Legendary athlete and world-record holder Paula Radcliffe today unveiled the six inspirational women who have been picked from across Greater London to become Radcliffe's Great Runners as they train ahead of the Morrisons Great Newham London Run.
The six women, who range from seasoned runners to complete novices, were picked as they all want to get active and inspire others to take part in the run in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park on 19 July 2015.
Paula unveiled the six members of Radcliffe's Great Runners at an exclusive training session this morning in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. Radcliffe's Great Runners quizzed Paula on her training tips, how to prepare for a 10k race, specific race rituals she had and also suggested training programmes for the next two months as they build up to a 10k. The session finished with a light jog around the South Lawn area of the Park.
Paula said: “Running has given me so much pleasure and a lot of wonderful experiences and I want to share that with these six wonderful women and help them reach their own personal goals.
“I hope that the six women we've picked will go on to inspire thousands of other women across the UK to take that first step, sign up for the Morrisons Great Newham London Run and find out for themselves just how amazing running can be. You don't need to be the fastest or the fittest, you just need to give it a go. I look forward to cheering on my six Radcliffe Runners, as well as the thousands of others taking part in the run on 19 July. And if today has inspired you, there are still places available so sign up now.”
Pherenice Worsey-Buck from Bromley, who is one of Radcliffe's Great Runners, explains: “I was so excited when I found out I had been picked as one of Radcliffe's Great Runners. Today's training session was invaluable and means I will be fully prepared and in perfect shape for Morrisons Great Newham London Run. I am certainly going to be applying all the tips we learnt from Paula today over the next two months.
“I lost my husband to cancer in September 2013 and began running to cope with my grief. In celebration of my husband's life, I am running 43 events to mark each year that he was alive, and to raise funds for WAY Widowed and Young, a charity that supports widows at a young age, as I was. I hope I can do him proud when I run in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.”
The six women, mentored by Paula Radcliffe and chosen as Radcliffe's Great Runners are:
Mother of four and Newham resident Paula Blake. The 52-year-old manages various services and activities for children and young people with disabilities in the local area.
Pherenice Worsey-Buck is 41 and from Bromley. She was widowed at the age of 39 when her husband died of oesophageal cancer and began running to deal with the grief, as well as being encouraged by her children to get fit. In a celebration of her husband's life, she is running 43 events to mark each year that he was alive.
40-year old Donna White is a Police Officer for the Metropolitan Police from Kent. She is also a combat medic for the Army Reserves, served in Afghanistan and Iraq and currently also helps to train army medics. She has had very little time for running and feels that now is her chance.
Devkee Trivedi from Enfield, London was knocked off her bike last year by a car in a hit and run incident and her injuries prevented her from running for a while. Then in December, the 24-year-old was hospitalised with viral meningitis and as result, lost all hearing in her right ear and has used running to help her recovery and confidence.
Full-time working mother of two young girls Meera Sankaranarayanan, 38, is hoping that Paula will help her realise her dream of being able to run. She comes from a background where running was a sport only for males but living in the UK has presented her with the opportunity to run.
Vicki Read, 43, is General Manager of the Newham Leisure Centre and having looked after her mother as she lost her battle against cancer, has decided to raise money in her name.
Sir Robin Wales, Mayor of Newham, said: “The Morrisons Great Newham London Run is the highlight of the sporting calendar in Newham. The run is extremely popular and the buzz and excitement on the day echoes the atmosphere of the capital during the London 2012 Olympic Games. Radcliffe's Great Runners are an inspiration to all to dig out your trainers and start training to join in this exciting summer sporting event, where you can feel like an Olympic champion as you cross the finish line of the former Olympic Stadium.”
All runners in the Morrisons Great Newham London Run will get the chance to have their very own Olympic moment as they finish inside the Stadium and cross the famous finish line and running track, which saw Olympic greats Usain Bolt, Jessica Ennis-Hill and Mo Farah race across in 2012. The course will also take in the sights of Lee Valley VeloPark, the London Aquatics Centre and the Copper Box Arena.
The Morrisons Great Newham London Run is aiming to become the biggest running event in Britain with 60,000 people taking part within five years. Radcliffe is an ambassador for the Morrisons Great Run series, where she is promoting mass participation running events and aims to encourage more women to get running and wants to see more women from a wide range of backgrounds taking part in the event.
Paula will continue to offer training advice to her 'Great Runners' over the next couple of months. They will also receive specialist sportswear to help preparations.
For further information and to enter the Morrisons Great Newham London Run visit www.greatrun.org/London.