If you are thinking of starting running, or have started running but need motivation to improve your fitness or speed – take heart from this truly inspirational story by local runner Caitlin Limmer who is also the founder of the Bearcat Running Club in St Margarets.
The Bearcat Running Club was started in 2012 by Caitlin (pictured right) – a personal trainer and running coach, busy mum to two children and active wife to comedy club owner of the Bearcat Comedy Club – hence its name!.
Caitlin’s mission is simple – to share the love of running.
Before she ran her first marathon 13 years ago – and has since gone on to run a further eight marathons and counting – she had barely run 1k.
And between running all those marathons she has coped with a potentially life changing illness and trained over 250 people to run or improve their running.
Caitlin’s story – How I ran my first marathon
“Serious illness following the birth of my second child led to me having to find an activity that would help to improve my bone density and fitness. I decided I wanted to run. I was inspired by my close friend and fellow mum Rikke who had trained to run a marathon as a beginner runner. Starting out, my two biggest challenges were lack of knowledge on how to run properly in my weakened physical state. And childcare! I had a toddler and a 6 month old.
But I was determined. And I loved it.
Step by step I got a training plan together. From being an awful runner barely able to run around the block, I learnt the cardiovascular skills to breathe properly as I ran. I got to know my body and adapt my running style to prevent injury. As I got stronger, each of those 26 miles seemed more achievable.
My physical endurance improved and so to did my mental toughness. During my first ever marathon, at the most testing points I visualised the faces of the people important to me as I approached the finishing line – I wanted to see that moment!
Crossing that finishing line was life changing – you realise you have so much more in you than you ever understood. I couldn’t stop there.
Running is pivotal to helping me to cope with a life changing illness. So I trained to become a personal trainer and running coach so I could teach other people to run and share what running can do for you – mentally, physically and socially.
Bearcat running club in St Margarets
Caitlin’s goal with the Bearcat Running Club is to make running accessible to everyone whether a plodder, jogger or elite runner. Sunday mornings is the weekly meet-up where runners of all ages and abilities take part, including children learning to run their first mile.
Personal or group sessions run throughout the week.
It’s a fantastically friendly community of runners where you can go to get the support and nurture you need to build your confidence so that you – yes you – can run!
To find out how Caitlin can help you to run with confidence you can contact her through the Bearcat Running Club website.