Run for Me - Kevin's Story | Norwich City Community Sports Foundation

Story added: 1st September 2022

Kevin Thompson shares his story of how 'Run for Me' has positively impacted his life

In 2006 Kevin suffered a terrible injury in his local gym, resulting in spinal surgery. Although the surgery was a success, it left him with no sensation from his left thigh downwards.

Having been a keen cyclist for many years, this fortunately didn’t affect his ability to ride, but the lack of sensation resulted in terrible balance issues making it near-impossible to run without falling over.

In 2017, Kevin went to watch a local parkrun and was encouraged by the ethos and the inclusivity of the event.

He attended the following week and entered with the intent of just giving it ago but absolutely loved it. Afterwards, he returned home and encouraged his wife to come with him the following week. Both were ‘non-runners’, but very quickly found a common interest.

At first, staying upright and running in a straight line was a challenge, but as time went by muscle memory and determination came to the forefront for Kevin. This gradual improvement led to him and his wife entering races and events together.

Following on from their newfound love of running, Kevin’s wife found the ‘Run for Me’ programme via a social media link and asked whether he would join her. Not knowing what to expect, he attended the session and has never looked back and is yet to miss one since.

When asked how the programme has impacted his life, Kevin responded with:

“Attending Run for Me sessions on a Monday morning has improved my physical and mental wellbeing enormously.

“Since joining, I feel more confident in my physical abilities, having completed two half marathons last year and my first marathon back in April 2022, which Dudley (our coach) kindly provided me with a training plan for.”

Like everyone else in the Run for Me programme, Kevin has been amazed by the friendships made with the other participants.

“What I’ve found is an amazing group of people led by a very personable, knowledgeable and dare I say it, witty coach.”

The friendships have blossomed so much that they now meet almost every Wednesday and Friday for additional running sessions, social functions, and even enter race events together, such as Run Norwich.

Kevin also believes the programme and sessions provided people with a sense of escapism throughout the pandemic and tumultuous year that 2022 has been, and would encourage anyone to sign up for Run for Me.

Run for Me, which is supported by Massimo Sky, is a community running group, which has an added focus on supporting its participants’ mental health and wellbeing.

The group meets once a week, at 10am on a Monday, for a 60-minute running session led by qualified running coaches, followed by a 30-minute social session.

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