• Flamingos on the run!

    It was great to see our Flamingo runners out in force at the Bristol Half Marathon this weekend. The team donned pink feathers and flamingo masks, which although not particularly aerodynamic for running did look amazing and allowed our supporters to easily see them in the crowds.

    As they put one foot in front of the other for mile after mile, there was plenty of time for chatting and reflecting on running; why we do it and what it means to people.

    It turns out that running is so much more than just pounding the streets for the sake of being active. It is also a fantastic way to connect with other people and take time to appreciate the beautiful environment you find yourself in, whether that is the city streets of Bristol or far-flung corners of the countryside.

    Running, particularly in big events such as last Sunday’s Bristol Half Marathon and the Great North Run, can be incredibly emotional too. People who are running to raise money often write who they are running for and why on their shirts, and as you chat to fellow runners you get a real sense of how much we all go through in our lives and how we can work through difficulties together.

    And let’s not forget that running does wonders for the body and mind. The personal challenge and commitment of training for something like this is amazing for mental wellbeing and de-stressing after a hard day at work. Runners often say the best way to clear their head and work through the problems of the day is by pulling on their shoes and getting out for a few miles.

    If you haven’t run a race before, or even run at all, it is never too late to start. There are all sorts of training apps and programmes to get you going, and before you know it you too could be crossing that finishing line, grinning and weary, to collect a medal and collapse!

    Why not combine the joy of running with a direct way of doing good in your community? We love Good Gym (www.goodgym.org) which helps you get fit and transform your home town. You can also register to be a guide for a blind or partially sighted runner at www.guidedogs.org.uk/events/volunteering/guide-runners.

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