Cathryn is flying the This Mum Runs flag in Wales

In March, This Mum Runs launches in Cardiff with plans to offering free social runs from various locations across the city.

Hiring Cathryn Scott as the Community Leader for Cardiff is such an exciting milestone for us and she will be spearheading our city wide expansion plans. 

Here’s a chance to get to know Cathryn – how she discovered her love of running by accident when she was 15 and her dreams of building a huge TMR community of running Mums in the Welsh capital.

Meet Cathryn

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Hello! I’m a Mum of three children age 9, 7 and 4,  was born and raised in Barry and have lived in Cardiff for 17 years.  I’ve worked as a parenting blogger, freelance journalist and PR – and am a qualified yoga teacher!

I was 15 when I discovered quite by accident that I can run. I wasn’t a sporty child at all – always the last to be picked in team games and I mostly hated PE at school. However when my class were asked to take to the running track for an 800m race during a term of athletics lessons, no one was more surprised than me when I beat the rest of my classmates by a full lap.

That was the start of my love affair with running and I ran off and on throughout the rest of my teenage years and 20s. It all stopped when I wanted to start a family, though, and it would be 12 years later before I’d even think about putting on my running shoes.

In December 2017 I nervously started running again, with the goal of being able to run 10K by my 40th birthday in June 2018. On the first attempt, I managed seven minutes on the treadmill but was a red hot sweaty mess,  barely able breathe – and I nearly jacked in the whole idea there and then!

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However I persevered and slowly began to see progress. I reached my 10K goal (and have got two sparkly medals to prove it) – and, after being persuaded by friends, took part in my first half marathon, the Cardiff Half, in October 2018. I loved it so much I’m doing it again this year as well as a few other events along the way too. I also am a regular at Cardiff Parkrun as well as Junior Parkrun with my kids children, which I absolutely love.

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I am absolutely thrilled to be part of the team bringing This Mum Runs to Cardiff. TMR is just THE most incredible community supporting Mums to make a bit of time for themselves through running-  I’ve watched it grow from afar and was so excited to hear the plans to expand into Cardiff that I jumped at the chance to apply for this role!

In the first week in my new role, I’ve already been busy planning our Cardiff “Launch Run” on Sunday 3 March as well as setting up our first weekly Cardiff runs, and some other exciting social events which we’ll share details of soon. I’ll be sharing all the details in the This Mum Runs Cardiff Facebook community here

As a busy, working mum, running gives me the much needed headspace and mental clarity I’ve realised I need to function. It’s also helped me to learn to love my post-baby body again, helping me realise just how strong she am and how much I can achieve when I put my mind to it. I just can’t wait to share all of this, and more, with the Mums of Cardiff through This Mum Runs. I hope you’ll come and join me!

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 we offer free, social runs for Mums every Wednesday and Sunday across London, Bristol and Bath – with Cardiff and Brighton launching soon (and more to follow throughout 2019). To keep up to date with our plans – and for plenty of inspiration too – sign up for our weekly email here. 

A huge thank you @Facebook – who’s support and funding through the Facebook Community Leadership Programme has made our expansion into new cities possible.

My 57 year old Mum inspired me to give running a try.

The first three months of the year are always busy for us at This Mum Runs – with lots of new runners taking their very first steps, others taking tentative steps towards their first events, or more regular runners taking on bigger personal challenges. Throughout February and March we will be featuring stories of TMR runners of ALL experience levels; we hope you find them as inspiring as we do.

Meet Sandra (half marathon first-timer) and her daughter Sarah (marathon first-timer).

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Hello, Im Sandra and I’m 57. Last week I completed my first ever half marathon, which I was lucky enough to run with my daughter Sarah, and my TMR friends. Here is my story.

I signed up for a beginners running program shortly after my 50th birthday. I’d never run before – in fact I HATED PE at school. But I felt like it would be a new challenge, that would help me feel fitter and lose some unwanted weight.

After this a hip problem stopped me running for a few years, but through my daughter I found This Mum Runs. With them, I run for my health but most of all I run for the social aspect and I’ve truly made some great friends. I look forward to seeing them every week and we really keep each other going.

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Before this Sunday, I’d run two park runs and three 10ks. Anything more had seemed totally out of reach.  But I set myself a goal of completing a half marathon before I was 60 – and when I crossed the finish line of the Llanelli Half, I’d done it three years early – so as you can imagine I am over the moon!

Leading up to the big day,  it was almost not going to happen. I’d taken a fall during a training run and fractured my elbow.

After 8 weeks of recovery,  my confidence was feeling pretty knocked; but with the support and encouragement from my TMR friends, I got back to it. I started again with 30 min social runs, then 45mins runs with everyone’s support – and particularly the support of my new friend Gina who I’d met through This Mum Runs.

4 miles became 6 then 8 then a 10 a long run with Sarah too and an 11 miler. Honestly I couldn’t believe it when I finally got to the race start line! I’d set myself the target of completing it in under 3 hours – and I managed to finish in 2:44:03 with a huge smile on my face!

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My friend, Gina, who has only run one other half marathon before this, got a PB running it in under 2:30 – I was so pleased for her and am so thankful to everyone for their love and support.

My top tip for anyone training for a race this spring? Stick to your own pace, don;t worry what anyone else is doing and trust your gut. Find some friends to train with, it makes so much difference! Running really is mind over matter and if I can do it anyone can! Also on race day – jelly babies are the perfect pick me up!

Meet Sarah

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A few years ago, my Mum signed up to a beginner running course and at first me and my sister just chuckled – this was just something that never in a million years did we expect Mum to do. She’d always been a walker (as she doesn’t drive) but running….?!

Seeing her so happy and confident, though I wanted a piece of the action too as I did enjoy sport at school and life had just got in the way.  So I signed up to the next beginners course as she went up to the Improvers group.

4 years later, I’m a regular runner and This Mum Runs Run Angel – and as cheesy as it sounds, I now run because I absolutely love it! I do some of my weekly runs with a TMR group and some on my own or with a couple of friends. I love the headspace it gives me, I love how it makes me feel, I love what it brings out in me and others.

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I really enjoy doing park run, and over the past 4 years have run eleven 10ks and ten half marathons.

I have also been fortunate (!) enough to secure a place in this years London Marathon raising money for AGEuk.

From a young age watching the London Marathon on the TV and always enjoying running, it was something I’d always wanted to be a part of. When I then started running and entering so many half marathons, it was something that only time was in charge of. Ballots 3 years running were no joy so I applied for a charity place – raising funds for a charity that meant something to me and my role with patients at work [as a phlebotomist].

My life has totally changed now – with running firmly fixed in my weekly planner. Ive gone from never having run, to following a Marathon training plan written by Runners World! Most of my training is based on the intermediate plan, but with the easy plan for days when life is busy or I’m just too tired so that I don’t give in. If it feels too much,  I just take a step back which is something that has really helped with half marathon training too.

Something new I am trying is two strength sessions per week and a sports massage (which I can promise you, isn’t a treat!) once every 5-6 weeks. What I still need to get to grips with is how to ‘fuel not feed’. Running as much as I now am makes me soooooooo hungry… and I have a bit of thing for cake!

Four years ago I could never have imagined entering the London Marathon – and if I can do it, anyone can. Every bit of advice I’ve ever received has come from others or read in a book so my top tip is to ask lots of questions and read as much as you can bear! Most of all enjoy yourself. Smiling really does make it easier.

Sarah is running the London Marathon 2019 to raise funds for AgeUK. Her Just Giving page is here.

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 we 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 our plans – and for plenty of inspiration too – sign up for our weekly email here.

My beginning-again running journey with This Mum Runs

I have been fit all my life. Pre pregnancy, I even had a personal trainer.  I was a size 10, and I felt and looked great.

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Then I got pregnant.  6 months of sickness and debilitating tiredness followed and as a Director in a fast paced start up, all my energy went into keeping my Team and business afloat.  There was no time, (or energy), for exercising.  Then there was birth.  A physical marathon and body blow of epic proportions.  Then breastfeeding.  Constant, 24/7, exhausting.  Then the toddler tasks.

For the last 3 years I have not exercised.  The world of yoga and lycra leggings is a world I no longer know.  More than that, it is a world in which I do not feel I belong.    Pre pregnancy my motivation was to try and fashion a 6 pack.  That goal is long gone (and quite frankly, one I care very little about now!), so where was I going to find my new motivation?

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London’s Calling

This Mum Runs launched in London in late 2017 and since then has built a team of 30 Run Angels offering free social runs from 11 locations across the capital (London locations)

This is just the start though and we have BIG plans for 2019, which we will share with you in the coming weeks. 

Hiring Run Angel Emma Devasker as our first ever paid Community Leader was the such an exciting milestone for us and she will be spearheading our city wide expansion plans . 

here’s a chance to get to know Emma – how running  with TMR saved her from anxiety and gave her the confidence to try open water swimming and about her plans to bring free runs and coaching to women across London. 

Meet Emma

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I’m a mum of two who, like I think many of us in TMR, was not at all active prior to having kids. If anyone had suggested to me pre-kids that I would move to London with an 11 month old, start running, lead groups of women on runs around the city – as well as swim in cold lakes and take up a completely new team sport – I really would have thought they were absolutely crazy!

I started running shortly after emigrating here, using one of the Couch to 5km plans, to help with my post-natal depression and also just for a way to have some ‘me’ time. I remember every one of those runs on the plan seemed impossible but then once each of them was completed it was such a great feeling to know that your body is capable of so much more than you think – I was hooked!

How did you get involved with TMR

I got involved with This Mum Runs after seeing Mel on the cover of a women’s running magazine and contacting her to see when TMR would come to London. I had been running for a while by then and was training for my first ever half – but had only been running solo as I was too scared to join any of the local running groups. I certainly didn’t consider myself to a proper runner.

The TMR community that was in Bristol just sounded so awesome and luckily for me it was decided to set up a group in my local area. Having TMR locally meant so much more than just running. It very quickly become a real community, a support network and a bunch of awesome women who I now call friends.

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How does it feel to be working for TMR now?

My youngest just started in Reception this year and as I had been a stay at home Mum since coming to England I started to think about what I could do now. Prior to kids I worked in fashion production but as with many other industries it is not one which offers much flexibility and part-time roles are virtually non-existent. So just when I was pondering all this the TMR role popped up and I very quickly applied. It is so amazing and almost unbelievable to have found not just a flexible role but one that I am passionate about and doesn’t even feel like work.

How has working for and being involved with TMR changed your life?

Being involved with TMR both socially, and now as an employee, has been such a huge confidence boost. Without wanting to sound cliché it really has made me healthier and happier.

I still sometimes struggle with anxiety but having TMR there means even on days when I struggle to get out for a solo run I know I can get out for some headspace with the group run or with a running buddy.  Even when I got injured and couldn’t run last year – the TMR community were still there supporting, and even more than that some of them joined me on my open-water swim challenge that I took on.

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So thanks to This Mum Runs I am now a runner and a swimmer and just a better person and a better Mum.

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What are your plans in London for the next year?

I have exciting plans to grow the community, the number of runs and other TMR programmes in London. I hope to see the This Mum Runs London community double in size and help start our free weekly runs in even more locations around the capital.

I will be supporting our existing Run Angels who so generously volunteer their time and will be working closely with them to keep up the great momentum they have all built up in their own areas.

I am very excited to find more great fun running events in which London TMR can take part as a big group (and celebrate together afterwards!) and I cannot wait to launch the hugely successful Run30 and Run60 courses here in London, which will be so great for both total beginners and runners hoping to improve!

Ultimately though my aim is to help build an amazing community of women who support each other and make more time for themselves through running.

 

Flexible work with This Mum Runs means more time to build my own business

In a month where we are celebrating This Mum Runs and all the many ways we have empowered women to lead bigger, bolder, healthier, happier lives, we wanted to take the opportunity to shine a light a bit closer to home too.

The This Mum Runs HQ team is made up of a team of kick ass women who wanted more from their lives. To give something back, yes. But also more for themselves – more balance, the opportunity to work on something meaningful, the flexibility to follow the multitude of paths that lead to their dreams.

I am proud to be building a business that makes this possible – for myself and for others.

So in a week that sees the world celebrating Women’s Entrepreneurship Day, it felt appropriate to tell the stories of women in my team who are building blended careers, including their own businesses alongside their role with us, with the support of This Mum Runs.

Next up, Jo Sacher – TMR Customer Champion Read More

I quit corporate life for TMR and found me again

In a month where we are celebrating This Mum Runs and all the many ways we have empowered women to lead bigger, bolder, healthier, happier lives, we wanted to take the opportunity to shine a light a bit closer to home too.

The This Mum Runs HQ team is made up of a team of kick ass women who wanted more from their lives. To give something back, yes. But also more for themselves – more balance, the opportunity to work on something meaningful, the flexibility to follow the multitude of paths that lead to their dreams.

I am proud to be building a business that makes this possible – for myself and for others.

So on the day that sees the world celebrating Women’s Entrepreneurship Day, it felt appropriate to tell the stories of two women in the team who are building blended careers with the support of This Mum Runs.

First up, Jo Lee, TMR Head of People. Read More

From running with TMR to running my own business

As we continue our 4th birthday celebrations this month, we are taking a moment to reflect on the things that are most important to us a community driven organisation.

Right at the top of the list is our mission to empower other women to be healthier and happier. This goes way beyond going out for a run every week. And is as much about empowering women to lead their best and happiest lives, as well as making exercise a regular part of it.

Introducing Corinne. A Mum of two, TMR runner, and founder of online organic beauty retailer, Rare Beauty. We caught up with her last week to find out how she’s juggling life as a Mum and entrepreneur, and how running with TMR has helped her on this journey.

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Tell us about your business, it sounds brilliant!

I launched the Rare Beauty online store (www.rare-beauty.co.uk) six months ago to showcase natural & organic skincare brands founded by female entrepreneurs. For about six years I had been making my own natural skincare as a hobby. During research I discovered many beautiful, ethical brands created by women skincare experts. I felt compelled to create a women-led natural skincare platform for these brands. Rare Beauty now showcases twelve brands and over 70 products ranging from face creams to body washes with lots more to launch next year.

 

I had a very varied career in partnership building, marketing and sales roles. My last employed role was with Common Purpose, a global leadership charity as a Regional Sales Director. There were aspects of the role that I very much enjoyed but I have always struggled to ‘settle’ in jobs. A few years ago I set up a consultancy business with a friend and I really enjoyed the process but the solitary consultancy work was not for me. When I hit upon what I felt was a viable idea that could grow into a business I could not let the opportunity pass me by. So here I am, at the start of my entrepreneur journey as an online retailer!

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 When I discovered natural, plant-based skincare about six years ago I also trained in herbal medicine practices. There is so much intuitive, powerful female knowledge that has been lost with the takeover of Western medicine. As a result, I try to respect my mind-body connection and take a more holistic approach to wellbeing whenever I can. I really believe in the power of self-care, whether that be a weekly beauty treatment, a regular yoga practice or a run, to help us re-set our bodies and restore our minds.

What gave you the courage to make such huge changes to your career and your life?

Some serendipity and some craziness! I think I have always had an entrepreneurial mindset, if there is such a thing, and the stars aligned at just the right time to allow me to set up Rare Beauty during maternity leave for my second baby. A hugely supportive family and network of friends is essential. Rare Beauty is like my third child: it is a 24/7 calling. So it is really important that as a family unit we are all in it together. My eldest daughter loves helping me ‘in my shop’ and I feel very proud that she is seeing me doing meaningful work that I love. It also means I can juggle my hours around school/childcare which I find very empowering as a mother.

How did you get involved with This Mum Runs?

I think it was through Facebook, quite a long time ago and I remember saying to my husband ‘Wow, this Mel Bound has a fabulous business idea, this is going to go global!’ However, it was a year or so later after my second child that I found that I was in actually badly in need of TMR myself. Having been a runner for ten years before I had children, I totally lost my mojo after the birth of my first child and never really got back into running again. I experienced a brief period of post-natal depression after the birth of my second child which compelled me to look into TMR again and sign up to their Run 60 course in January this year.

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Has being part of This Mum Runs helped you with your start up journey?

I can honestly, hand on heart say that without TMR I would not be celebrating six months in business right now! I started the Run 60 course in dark and cold January with a huge task ahead of me to launch Rare Beauty. I got my resilience back, my fitness returned and I discovered that I actually love running with other women (I was always a solitary runner before TMR). The TMR course got me into a mindset that meant I was able to set myself goals for my running and my business launch with confidence.

I launched Rare Beauty and ran the Bristol 10k in the same week in May. It was emotional!

Six months on, I still run three times a week and join the free Social Runs every Wednesday. It is a very important part of my work/life balance. The TMR community is so incredibly supportive and accepting, I love everything about it and I feel very proud to be a part of such a fabulous women-led community. Thank you TMR and Mel for being such an inspirational mumpreneur to us all!

Emma finds her wings with TMR

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Wow, we are 4! And this month we are taking a moment to shine a light on stories of brilliant transformation for women in the This Mum Runs community – showcasing how running has given them new found confidence in other areas of their lives too.

Meet Emma.

Emma is mum to strong-willed little boy (her words, not ours!), she’s an architect and until recently joining the TMR Run30 programme, had barely done any exercise since cross country days at school. Read More

Talking Running, Mumhood and Cake with Bake Off’s Briony.

When we first discovered that TMR Mama, Briony had won a coveted place on the line up of this year’s Great British Bake Off, you can imagine our excitement. Yes, there was happy dancing in a proud Mum kind of way. We are never prouder when we see one of our own following her passion, so this really was the *ahem* icing on the cake.

Imagine my delight when I met with her on a sunny autumn morning in Bristol – following her (let’s face it untimely) departure from the semi finals of the Channel 4 show – for a run and a chat about all things running, mumhood and baking.

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TMR Yearbook: Class of 2016 – Tina Curtis

My name is Tina and I have just completed the This Mum Runs 5K+ course in Keynsham.

Tina, TMR Mum

I am 55 and trying to lose weight and get fitter. I have 2 grown up children and one who’s 15. I run my own Sign Company in Saltford, making signs, lettering vehicles, printing T shirts and mugs etc.

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