Brighton and Hove FrontRunners was set up by George Tester-Allen 10 weeks ago and they already have 15 members. George is a trained leader in running fitness (approved by England Athletics) and is hoping to undertake a coach course in 2019 subject to funding they have applied for. As of last week the club has been approved by the International FrontRunners, which means it has international recognition.
It is a super inclusive and safe space for the LGBTQ community and runners of all abilities and experience are welcome. George says:
“I’m queer myself and have experienced mental health issues in the past. I know that mental health concerns are a big issue in our community – especially anxiety and PTSD so I wanted to make a difference. I know that the idea of joining a running club can be really intimidating and that’s why we are so welcoming and friendly. I will personally run alongside anyone who is nervous or doesn’t believe that they can run – FrontRunners is all about supporting each other and creating a community of runners”
They meet on a Wednesday evening at 7.00pm at the bus shelter opposite King Alfred’s Leisure Centre car park and run for an hour. They do a quick warm up, run for 3-6K and then a warm down. They also have exclusive use of one of the shower areas at the King Alfred’s.
George has agreed to run the Brighton Marathon 2019 and raise money for MindOut which is amazing and I asked her why she thought running was so good for her mental health?
“Once you get going, even if you really don’t want to go for a run, you feel so much better and the endorphins kick in from doing the exercise. This is why it is so motivating running with a group. It helps change your mood and can be a great distraction from difficult thoughts and feelings. I don’t take medication anymore thanks to running and have just recently completed the Brighton 10K so running really helps people achieve their goals”
Brighton and Hove FrontRunners is not just a running group – they have a social evening on the 4th Wednesday of every month and on the last Saturday of every month they do a Park run.
On 9th January 2019 George is launching a couch to 5K course – this will be a free 10 week course open to everyone who is interested in getting a bit fitter in the the New Year.
Brighton and Hove FrontRunners is open to new members – for more info visit www.bhfrontrunners.org.uk