Trio show the benefits of Waveney’s beginner sessions

Three Waveney members with their medals from the London 10k. From left, Sarah James, Jane Spendlove

Three Waveney members with their medals from the London 10k. From left, Sarah James, Jane Spendlove and Laura Head. - Credit: Archant

In 2015, Waveney Valley Athletic Club introduced beginner sessions in order to encourage anyone with a desire to improve their fitness to do so with the help of qualified athletics coaches.

The club had held sessions previously during its history, but it was in 2015 that they really took off with the public and during 2016, more than 400 different people had tried them, either in Lowestoft or Beccles.

Quite a few of those who took part have since become members and three of them, Sarah James, Jane Spendlove and Laura Head competed in the London Winter 10k at the weekend.

Sarah joined the local club in May of last year after seeing a facebook post advertising the sessions at Normanston Park in Lowestoft and thought it would be a fun way to get fit.

Initially, she found the 30 seconds of walking and 30 seconds of jogging to be very tough but at the race in London, she recorded a very good time of 1-08.27. This achievement she credits, in less than 12 months of running, to the encouragement and support given by the Waveney Valley club coaches.

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Jane also joined the club last year, after starting in the beginners sessions in the summer of 2015, and enjoys the support and friendliness of the group.

The London 10k was her second race at the distance and she ran a new personal best time of 1-13.48.

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Laura started the sessions in June 2015, never having previously competed in any sport. She was nervous about joining but the friendly support from the coaching team made her feel it was something she really wanted to do.

She went on to run in her first 5k parkrun in October that year.

At the London 10k event, also her second run over the distance, she recorded a time of 1-05.54, almost 15 minutes quicker than her debut time recorded in August.

Wavaney Valley Athletic Club started another beginners group last month and there will be further starting in April in both Lowestoft and Beccles. Experienced runners are welcome to join the sessions as well as beginners and newcomers.

Those interested in taking part are asked to contact Alan Fairs on 01502 513176 or email him at

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