The TMR Year that Was 2016

Erm excuse me. Where the hell has 2016 gone? I’m sure it was only yesterday that we were saying goodbye to 2015, I blinked and now we’re sitting here in a Brie and Prosecco induced coma on the brink of 2017!!

Part of that is the groundhog day like nature of routines and school with young children.

And I’m sure that part of this feeling is just the sheer strangeness of 2016. Brexit! Trump!! The loss of so many familiar faces too – including my childhood hero and first ever female role model, the kick ass, bad ass, warrior princess Carrie Fisher and my (as it turns out misplaced) teenage crush George Michael

But it would not be an understatement to say that the super sonic pace that things have happened for This Mum Runs in 2016 have some part to play in this too. I am prone to exaggerate, but it’s no exaggeration to say that it has been the most life changing of my *ahem* humble 43 year long life.  I can also say hand on heart that it is the year that I am most proud of in my entire working life.

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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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October Mum of the Month -Karen Davies.


The month of September has always been accompanied by change; in the weather, in the colour of the leaves, in the family routine as the children go back to school. And nowhere has this been more apparent than in TMR, where we saw a whole new brand fly onto the scene, new courses launch and our brand new online shop open for business. But as we enter October and relax into our new autumn routines, it’s a chance to take stock, and consider the changes that have taken place. With this in mind, there was one TMR member that stood out as the obvious choice as Mum of the Month for October, and that woman is Karen Davies.

Speaking on the phone, it’s clear that Karen’s views on attitude towards running complement the ideas behind TMR’s decision to re-brand last month. As a runner, her focus isn’t on putting pressure on herself to hit certain times or distances. She’s just happy to be outside, exploring parts of Bristol she’s never seen before in the 24 years she’s lived here. It’s refreshing to hear her say when asked about running goals that she wants to find new running routes around Bristol; it’s clear that she is running because she genuinely enjoys it. What matters to Karen is the chance to snatch some time for herself in the busy life she leads (and busy it is – it was a small victory to finally tie her down to a phone call!). In the hectic life of juggling motherhood with running Lets Make Art with fellow TMR Mama Alice Hendy, she says it’s nice to be able to “run away for an hour”.

A graduate from our couch to 5K course last spring, Karen admits that before the course she thought that the idea of running for 20 minutes was ridiculous. She reminisces about how she was late to her first homework run, and told the other mums that she would catch them up. Thinking they had done a full lap of Greville Smyth Park she attempted it herself, fighting off the urge to throw up and collapse into a breathless heap by the end. But she comments on how the course was cleverly structured so that it tricked you into being a runner without you even noticing it. She can now easily do several laps of the same park, and runs 5K two or three times a week with fellow couch to 5K graduate and running buddy Miranda Lovelock. She tells me they’re a great match in terms of pace and aren’t afraid to sometimes run side by side plugged in to some motivating (and, she readily admits, sometimes very cheesy) music.

And (you know we here at TMR love this stuff) Karen tells me she’s signed to do the Victoria Park run, intending to run the 2K with her 10 year old daughter. She says it’s great to see her children take an interest in her running, and thinks it will be good for her daughter to experience the sense of achievement that comes with completing your first race.

So, there we have it, our October MOTM. Karen is a perfect example of why TMR was set up, and why we made the decision to re-brand TMR last month; we want to help busy mums get up off the sofa, get active, meet new friends and grab some headspace. From all of us at Team TMR, thanks for keeping our vision alive!


If you want to find out more about what Lets Make Art is all about, why not bring the kids along to their Big Draw Doodle Day this October? More info and tickets can be found here:

TMR Yearbook: Class of 2016 – Charlie Pitts

-Each time I go out, I feel myself getting more confident that I can do this.- (2)

It’s week 3 of #MoreMumsRunning, and we know some of you might start getting cold feet around now. Whilst we here at TMR could talk about why you should stick at it till the cows come home, we thought you might like to hear it from a TMR Mama who’s been a victim of the week 3 fear, and smashed through it.

Just remember: if you’re a mum then you’re already a superhuman. A running course is nothing in comparison. So don’t give up…You. Can. Do. It!


When it comes to exercise, I am a 3-hit wonder. No matter what new fitness regime I try, the same pattern emerges:

Week 1 – I turn up terrified, but survive with a rush of endorphins when I realise it wasn’t as bad as I feared.

Week 2 – decide this is it – this is the thing that will get me fit.

Week 3 – realise it’s actually quite hard work, that I haven’t immediately lost 2 stone and that I don’t feel any fitter than when I started. And so I give up.

So it’s no surprise that the first two times I tried a couch to 5k, I gave up after the 3rd week. My first attempt was a “Beginner’s running course” on the Downs. The instructor decided on week one that we should all “just run as far as we all can, to see how we get on”. As the majority of the “beginners” shot off into the distance, I transformed back into the 16 year old girl I had once been, at the back of the weekly school cross-country run, being yelled at by an unforgiving PE teacher in a badly-fitting tracksuit. To be honest, it’s a miracle I made it to week 3.


My second effort was through TMR. I joined a lovely group of ladies, with two encouraging run makers on a chilly September evening. And as we got to the end of the first session, I felt the expected high; the “well, that wasn’t so bad”. I diligently did my homework runs and excitedly turned up for week 2. But the demons aren’t ever far away. For me, exercise is a burden, a chore. The thing I know I have to do, but the thing that I have struggled with more than anything else in my adult life. Since adolescence, exercise has been the last resort. I will use any excuse to get out of it. So, in October, excuses came up. I couldn’t do the homework runs. Then I stopped going to the weekly runs because I knew I was getting further behind. I told myself I’d catch up. I knew I was lying to myself.

So..attempt 3: 8 weeks of 8:30 Saturday morning sessions through TMR. My expectations of myself by this point were so low that I told my partner not to worry about being on the early parenting shift every Saturday, because I wouldn’t last the whole course. Except I did. A small group of like-minded, fabulously supportive mums, a fantastically encouraging run-maker in Vanessa MC and an exceptionally persistent Mel Bound who threatened to come to my house on week 4 and drag me to the park if I didn’t turn up voluntarily(!) proved to be the combination I needed to break my 3-week course. 3 weeks ago we finished the course. 1 week after that we met up at the same time again to hit the magic 5k.

So, where am I now? Completing the course is not the magic bullet for me. I jealously read the posts of people who see running as a delight, rather than a burden. But then, I’m dealing with a lifetime of insecurities around fitness. It is inevitable that I still have to talk myself into every single run. But each time I go out, I feel myself getting more confident that I can do this. It isn’t fast, it isn’t pretty, my legs ache, my lungs burn. And yet…occasionally…I get that moment…my stride, my breathing, the weather, the music I’m listening all comes together and I feel…well…like a runner. And therein lies the growing glimmer of hope, that I’m heading towards enjoying this. And that makes the perseverance, the breaking of the 3-week course, all worthwhile.


TMR Yearbook: Class of 2016 – Naomi Trentham

My name is Naomi and I have recently started the This Mum Runs Couch to 5K Absolute Beginners course at Royal Victoria Park, Bath.

Naomi, TMR Mum

I am married to James and have three children, Susannah (10), Judah (7) & Lois (4). I am a self-employed business administrator, working mainly for a church in Bath and looking forward to taking on new clients when my youngest starts school this year. My favourite day of the week is Thursday, mainly because I meet with friends for a full English, knowing I can burn it off with TMR in the evening!

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TMR Yearbook: Class of 2016 – Laura Wu

My name is Laura, and I recently completed the This Mum Runs Couch to 5K Absolute Beginners course on Clifton Down.

-I never knew that running can be fun-

I’m a stay-at-home mum to my daughter aged 3.5 and my son aged 1.5. My running experience before TMR consisted of training for and then running a half marathon when my daughter was 13 months old. The day of the race was the last day I ran until this March, almost 2.5 years later! Let’s just say that I endured rather than enjoyed that time of my running career! When I started the C25K course this March, I could probably run no more than 5 minutes without stopping.

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TMR Yearbook: Class of 2016: Harriet Hartley

My Name is Harriet and I have just completed the This Mum Runs Couch to 5K course at Clifton Down.

Harriet Hartley, TMR Mum (1)

I have 2 children, 1 2.9 months and 1, 7 month old. I am used to being fit but this has waned and I was struggling to get back to pre-pregnancy size and shape due to a slight like for chocolate. Otherwise my diet is pretty healthy. I’m a Social Worker but currently on maternity leave and dreaming of not having to go back, but sadly think that is not going to become a reality.

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September Mum of the Month – Amy Kate

Ever since she attended TMR’s first ever Social Run in Bath last November, Amy Kate has been a running machine with a near faultless attendance to our Social Runs. Here at TMR HQ we thought it was about time we recognised Amy’s role as a cornerstone of our Bath community, and after speaking on the phone it was clear she totally deserved to fly the TMR flag this month.

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Not only has Amy given back to the TMR community through training as a Run Angel and leading weekly runs, but she’s even inadvertently started an additional weekly run with fellow Mamas on Friday mornings. This all started when Amy was training for the Bath Half Marathon last autumn, and began running 5K before work on Friday mornings. This weekly run grew organically when Janice Tissington decided to join her through winter. By spring more and more TMR Mamas were braving the early starts to run with them too. Now Amy’s Friday 5K’s are a regular feature of TMR Bath, which we at HQ love to see!

On top of all of this, since gaining confidence in her running with TMR, Amy now also manages to squeeze in two or three solo runs a week. When I asked Amy what she has planned in her running diary over the next few months, we could see why these are needed! Between the Royal Half Park in October (which she is running to raise money for The Anna Lewis Brighter Future Fund), the Skyline Winter series of 10k’s (which entails competing in four 10k races over winter), the Bath Half in March and the Bristol to Bath marathon next October, you can safely say that this is one mum that definitely runs.

You may be reading this and feeling a little intimidated by Amy’s running success, but like everyone, Amy has been on a running journey. At many points, she’s felt inadequate and overwhelmed just like many of our Mamas. Amy tells me that before TMR she had run on and off for about 10 years. However, she always stopped when insecurities about her running abilities would resurface. This she largely blamed on trying to run with clubs; often finding herself the slowest in a club whose member’s view each other competitively, she would leave the sessions on a low.

In contrast, the supportive and empowering approach taken on TMR runs finally convinced Amy that she was good enough. She tells us that TMR taught her that everyone has to start somewhere, and that people can only improve.  Through such an encouraging community she is now in a position where running is a constant and integral part of her life.

And as our phone call continues, it’s crystal clear that Amy’s the perfect person to represent TMR this September. In a nutshell, she just gets us. She understands that running with TMR is about so much more than just exercise. She tells us enthusiastically about the supportive social network and strong friendships she has made within TMR, and about the essential perspective and headspace she gets from running.  If ever things start to get on top of her in life or if she’s had a bad day at work, she knows she can always strap on some trainers and run it out.

And whilst we believe running is about doing something just for you, we appreciate that our runners are still first and foremost all Mamas. That’s why when Amy tells us that her favourite thing to do is to run next to her 5 year old son as he cycles, it makes us melt a little.

So thank you Amy, for making sure our TMR torch shines bright in Bath! Each week with your help we’re getting #MoreMumsRunning.

TMR Yearbook: Class of 2016 -Anna Parlour

My name is Anna and I have just completed the C25K Absolute Beginners course on The Downs.

Anna Parlour, TMR Mum
I’m just like most Mums I think, knackered most of the time, suffocated with constant guilt about what I should and should not be doing at home, at work and everywhere, I crave wine and wish I could eat limitless amounts of chocolate.

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TMR Yearbook: Class of 2016 – Anna Beeton

My name is Anna and I have recently started the This Mum Runs Couch to 5K Absolute Beginners course at Royal Victoria Park, Bath.

Anna Beeton, TMR Mum

I have two children, a 3.5 year old and a 10 month old.  I’m definitely in the lazy camp and don’t do any real kind of exercise apart from running after the kids.  I have got into the habit of eating too much and doing very little so I am carrying some extra weight!

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