Jo's Running Journey

By Great Run Team

A year ago, Jo Emma of Great Run Local Birchfields Park decided to start running in an effort to lose weight and in return, achieved far more than just that...

“While not much has changed in the way of gaining the figure I so desire, I have gained much more than I could ever have imagined.”

From starting out on the treadmill, running alongside friend Raymond, Jo realised she was on a long, hard road but after a couple of months running indoors, she decided to venture outside.

“The words ‘I can’t do this’ were regular words from my mouth but words Raymond was not willing to listen to. After months running on the treadmill and starting to venture outside, I started knocking up between 15- 20k a week and I was starting to see progress.”

On Easter Sunday, Jo decided it was time to up her game and joined Raymond at Great Run Local Birchfields Park.

“The crowd at Birchfields park instantly took me under their wing and I felt part of the most sporty and lovely family ever! Starting my first 5k run, I said to one of the organisers Michelle Newall ‘you know this will take me well over an hour to get round and I will keep stopping? Her Reply: ‘No you won’t Jo, trust me!’ And she was right; Michelle ran the whole way round with me and has done many other weeks since.”

Jo’s times have since gone from 47 minutes to a personal best of 33 minutes and 10 seconds, but for her it isn’t about what time she achieves.

“It’s the taking part, the feeling I get when I get round without stopping, my fitness levels improving, my positive mind set, the positive impact it has on my academic work and the final feeling after the RUN (not race) is finished! 

I’ve put so much commitment into my running and I’m proud of how far I’ve come! But most importantly, I want to say a BIG HUGE THANK YOU to Raymond, Michelle and Paul for your continuous support and what you do every Sunday for free!

For anyone out there who would like to join me in my running adventure, you’ll never look back!”