Surge in lockdown running inspires new campaign

Run Wales sees 18% of adult population running during lockdown

During the 2020 lockdown over 350,000 people in Wales* (18%) stepped outside their front doors to run for their daily exercise. With gyms closed once again and running clubs not able to exercise together, Run Wales is looking for first-time joggers, power walkers and race finishers to join their new campaign From My Door and be a part of a new running movement in 2021.

From My Door hopes to encourage 500,000 people to use the only gateway to exercise we have right now, the front door, as the starting block for fresh air, exercise and thinking time.

Whether it’s five minutes or five miles, the campaign urges people to push themselves to leave their home office, sofa or kitchen table for a few minutes a day and to get through their front door to experience the benefits of running. Anyone can get involved by sharing their experiences and celebrating their achievements using #FromMyDoor on social media.

Plus, those who join in don’t have to feel alone. Run Wales hosts around 100 running clubs across the country, and there are countless independent local running clubs, groups, and challenges that offer support not just in January, but all year round.

Josie Rhisiart, a Run Wales Leader in Anglesey, said: “Five years ago, I was struggling with my weight and mental health, but then I gave running a go. Fast forward to now, and you can’t stop me! Running has helped me enormously throughout lockdown and I have loved seeing people like me – those who didn’t see themselves as runners – falling in love with it. Even though we can’t run together at the moment, we are still motivating each other and sharing running photos, routes and stories. My advice is to start slow and be kind to yourself – you’ll be amazed at what you can do.”

James Williams, Chief Executive Officer of Welsh Athletics, said: “Over the last year, our homes have become our everything. They are our offices, schools, nights in and nights out. But our front doors offer the best starting block to escape the four walls and improve our mental health and wellbeing.

“It was brilliant to see so many people stepping outside their front door to run in their local area in 2020 and this year we hope to encourage even more to join in. All things ‘local’ are more important than ever and we have a huge community of running groups offering support 365 days a year. Whether you run it, walk it or jog it, just be a part of it and help us get Wales moving.”

There will be a virtual running event held on St David’s Day to celebrate a new nation of runners. To get involved, sign up at irun.wales/frommydoor

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