This Mum Runs has grown to be the incredible community that it is, well..because of the women who make up the community. Without the generosity of time and spirit from our volunteer Run Angels, none of the work we do to bring free social runs to more Mums across the country would be possible.
Jane has been an important member of the London Run Angel team since October 2017 and she embodies everything special about This Mum Runs. She’s kind, funny, committed, generous with her time and support – and not afraid to share some of her own vulnerabilities too. Frankly, everyone needs a Jane in their life!
Here she shares a little bit about her own running journey and what inspired her to get behind the This Mum Runs movement.
I have never been massively sporty, and only really started running in any earnest in January 2016 when I completed the couch to 5k app. If I’m completely honest, I only did it so I could have half an hour on my own out of the house, and away from the family! I have two boys (Max, 8 and Will, 6) who are 14.5 months apart in age, and it can be a little ‘challenging’!
Since then I have run several park runs, 10ks, 3 half marathons and finally a marathon in April this year. For work, I am the Deputy Director for the London Leadership Academy (developing and supporting leaders across the NHS in London), and have recently started developing my own sideline as Quiet the Hive, which is all about inspiring women to calm their inner critic and own their space (follow me on Quiet_the_Hive on Insta!).
I’d been following This Mum Runs on social media a short while when I heard that they were launching in London. I was positive that this was going to be so popular, and heard that there were goodie bags for the first fifty people to rock up. I’ve never run so fast from Wimbledon to Putney to make sure I was there on time! I joined in for the launch run, and I was smitten.
When Mel asked people to indicate whether they’d be interested in getting further involved, I ticked all the boxes – runner, Run Angel and Runmaker. 2/3 so far, including launching the 2nd ever London run at Wimbledon Common on in October 2017. I’ve been an unofficial TMR ambassador ever since!
What do you love about running with This Mum Runs?
For me, TMR works with all my drivers. It is about women, empowering other women to be more than just the sum of their parts.
“When I am running with TMR, I am not a Mum or a wife or a daughter or an employee, I am me”
And I can’t explain how important that is. Too often Mothers are last on their own lists. TMR not only gives ‘permission’, but encourages us to take some time, and get some headspace. Running is such an incredibly inclusive sport, and we are all different shapes, sizes, backgrounds and in different places on our running journey, and yet we are all welcome and valuable parts of a running community. I am so grateful to all the women who’ve turned up and run with me, especially those who’ve now chosen to become Run Angels, which means that the Wimbledon runs are not just reliant on me.
How has TMR helped or changed you?
I can’t explain to you just how much volunteering for TMR means to me. It massively chimes with my values and I have made real friends through it. It is largely due to TMR that I refer to myself as a runner. The buzz I get from supporting Mums to get out and run is just brilliant; it gives me the impetus to keep going with my own running journey. I am a much happier, calmer, more settled person when I have run. Getting out for a run on a Sunday morning sets me up for an awesome day every time, no matter how hard the struggle to get out of bed sometimes!
Can I give you an example of the impact TMR has had on your life?
When I ran my marathon, two Bristol TMRers travelled by train just to cheer me on and pass me orange segments. I’d met Claire once, and Janey never before – – I’ve never really got over that act of generosity.
When I was struggling to do a very hot 10k in Wimbledon this summer, Man-Yee talked me round the course. When I called out for Run Angels to help with Wimbledon, Bethan and Emma both put themselves forward. When I decided to get massively out of my comfort zone and head off on a Finnish adventure, Emma came with me. Jo constantly lets me get over-excited with her, and Mel never even raised an eyebrow when I took her on a train in the wrong direction to a race.
The friends I’ve made through TMR are the greatest and the support for each other is unsurpassed. Thank you, TMR. xxx
This Mum Runs is a people-powered community-first organisation that empowers Mums everywhere to be healthier and happier. Through a network of volunteer Run Angels they offer free, social runs every Wednesday and Sunday across London, Bristol and Bath – with Cardiff and Brighton launching soon (and more to follow in 2019). To keep up to date with their plans – and for plenty of inspiration too – sign up for their weekly newsletter here