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Amsterdam Cloggers!

Heather Carmichael, Julia Wharmby, Jenny Partington, Andrea Sidebottom, Rachel Hartley, Steph Hughes & Marie Mckittrick

In October 2019, Ramsbottom Running Club descended on Amsterdam where members took part in the TCS Amsterdam Marathon, Half Marathon and 8K.

Here are some of the inspiring stories from members who tackled the 8K event:

Heather Carmichael:

My initial reason for going to Amsterdam was to support my husband, Matthew, on his first marathon and to make the most of an opportunity for a kid-free weekend!

But after recently graduating from the '10 weeks to 10K' group at RRC in September, I've got yo admit I've got the running (and RRC) bug!

The 8K in Amsterdam was a chance to prove to myself that I can continuously and consistently run more than a parkrun and that the Bury 10K (that I completed alongside the other '10 weeks to 10K' graduates) wasn't just a one-off.

And the result... wow, what an experience!

The event and the whole atmosphere was amazing, the chance to finish in the Olympic Stadium was amazing and my 4 year old asking "why is Daddy doing PE on the the TV" a classic quote that we'll cherish forever! But most of all the opportunity to make so many more running friends and really feel part of the club.

A big shout out to Marie Mckittrick - without us pacing and encouraging each other, I don't think we would have got under 50 minutes.


Dare I say it, I'm now even contemplating a half marathon next year!

Julia Wharmby:

In January this year Neil booked for us both to go to Amsterdam so he could compete in the half marathon and I would cheer him on. Later in the summer I was kindly asked to join the ‘Amsterdam Cloggers 8K’ WhatsApp group. I had started to work on my fitness in January this year so thought this would be an extra way of keeping fit by building up my power walking speed. I did some speed walks around Nuttall Park with Steph Hughes and more around where I live in Egerton. I really enjoyed the Amsterdam 8k run and met some lovely people and I am definitely continuing with the power walking!

Jenny Partington:

I joined RRC last November, and in January, my friend and I signed up for our first half marathon in Amsterdam. I had been busy up until June with college work, and once this was completed I began my training. As the weeks progressed and the distance increased I began to suffer with a sore hip . Rightly or wrongly I battled through training right up until a few weeks before the race . It started to dawn on me that I wasn’t going to be able to do the half, I was really disappointed. I looked up on the race website and saw that I could run the 8km instead.

Which is exactly what I did and I am so glad I did! A fabulous bunch of ladies who welcomed me into the group. It was such an amazing experience and to see all the other Rams running in their races so inspirational. I'm already looking forward to the next one!

Andrea Sidebottom:

Originally I booked to do the half marathon and it would have been my first half which I was excited to do.

However after a run of illness I decided the sensible thing to do would be to take on the 8K instead.... and what a great decision!

It meant that I could really enjoy the run and support Steph and Julia. Amsterdam was a great venue and having a team weekend away makes me want more!

Rachel Hartley:

Being talked into entering the Amsterdam 8K by my friend Marie Mckittrick turned out to be a great decision, although initially I wondered what I'd signed myself up for. It was lovely to run alongside the RRC Amsterdam-mers and achieve something I didn't know I could. Meeting up with everyone before and after the race in such a beautiful city was wonderful too. Here's to the next time!

Steph Hughes:

Living with, supporting and watching someone who has already done so many events can feel daunting at times. My husband Chris is always supportive and encouraging but I definitely felt more at home training with my running friends in the 'Amsterdam Cloggers'.

I started running with RRC at the 'Couch to 5K' group in January but bad weather and il health derailed my progress. Chris mentioned going to Amsterdam and that there were others who wanted to do the 8K event which was ideal for me - and from there the 'Amsterdam Cloggers' group was formed.

We immediately gelled and the support from the wider RRC team wrapped around us and carried us all along. Training became something to look forward to and the girls support each other on the journey was a real joy.

Unfortunately for me the week before our event I was in a car accident and for a while I thought I wasn't going to make it. Of course, encouragement came flooding in and I decided to give it a go.

The weekend away with the club was wonderful and my nerves were on edge as we lined up. Andrea Sidebottom was a star making sure we made it round, encouraging myself and Julia Wharmby all the way.
This was my first ever race but it definitely won't be the last - it was the first of many! For now it's time to train for future events, do my first parkrun and join the wonderful Ramsbottom Running Club. I am looking forward to putting on the club colours.  ❤🐏 🏅🏃‍♀😘

Marie Mckittrick:

Some time ago I was listening to a poem by our very own resident poet Paul Jenkins, it told the story of a runner planning his holidays around a run. Well that’s what's happened to me!

I heard some of my RRC friends talking about the Marathon in Amsterdam but didn’t take much notice as I had only really started to dabble with the running game.

Imagine my surprise when my husband Ali told me that not only had he entered the marathon but had booked our flights and hotel and we were off to Amsterdam for the weekend with a gang of RRC runners and their families.

I had absolutely no intention of running myself but after finishing the 'Couch to 5K' with the club and being totally inspired by the stories and achievements of some many RRC runners I finally thought 'well if you can’t beat them join them!'

I entered the 8K and after a couple of ‘social ‘ events where I got to know a few of the wives of members and fellow runners we started our own little group called ‘Amsterdam Cloggers’ and our friendship grew from there.

The encouragement we have given each other and the fun and laughs got us all through our training and the final run in Amsterdam, I can honestly say it was one of the most amazing moments I’ve ever experienced.

We had the best fun and are now planning to get together to do some more runs and walks and I’m sure a few more ‘socials’

It doesn’t matter how far or fast we go, whatever we do it’ll be guaranteed to bring a few smiles and laughs

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