One cold, wet and miserable night in November 2014, busy mum of two Mel Bound put out a plea for a running buddy on Facebook. Shortly after that inspirational appeal, 75 mums turned up for the first run session of the remarkable social community that was to become This Mum Runs, now shortlisted for a national Women's Sport Trust award.
Mel's Bound To Inspire Mums To Run
With two children under five and a busy job with a long commute, any hope of time to herself, let alone time to exercise, seemed a lost cause and Mel really wanted to get it sorted. From one highly motivated individual's desperate need for company on the occasional run, a brand new running community has emerged.
This Mum Runs has quickly grown, with more than 10,000 women able to access 200 free runs a month from 17 locations across Bristol and Bath. There are also plans to launch it in London later this month. Offering an alternative to traditional running clubs and groups, This Mum Runs' aims are to remove the emotional and practical barriers to running for time-strapped women who may not have exercised for a long time.
This Mum Runs combines a highly engaged online community with a growing programme of free runs, coaching and courses for total beginners upwards. All the programmes are led by local mums trained as running coaches (Run Makers) and volunteers (Run Angels), and are at times that fit around the family, making them accessible to as many women as possible.
This Mum Runs has reached the final three in the Women's Sport Trust #BeAGameChanger Awards to be decided by public vote tonight (11 May).
One new member commented: “I am 44, with a two-year-old and two high profile, pressurised roles. I feel enormously proud to be part of this group. One of the best things is the way Mel Bound has created a community that is mutually dependent. Yes, she founded it but when she is out running she is just another runner, one of us.”