We have been working behind the scenes recently to make sure we are as welcoming to runners as possible, in May this year Sam guided a blind runner round the Milton Keynes half marathon and also Martin D and Doug have been guides for runners at recent club runs.
In the club we have now set up a group to make sure when possible we can meet requests from runners who may need extra help, the runners in this group are happy to give up there runs to help other runners and they are attending courses to help for some aspects of this.
So with this in mind I would like to share Tom’s story who has been running for us for over three months now and Lorraine has been Tom’s buddy for the club runs, I was keen to share Tom and Lorraine’s story so that hopefully it will inspire other runners to take up running and show what can be done with ambition and determination. So the story is below
Thanks so much to Tom for letting us share his running journey with Redway Runners
Great to be asked by Martin to write a little bit for the newsletter – this is Tom, I have had the pleasure of buddying Tom since April when the club were contacted by his Mum enquiring how he could join, the club gets many enquiries from people wanting to join – but this enquiry turned out to be extra special.
Tom is 17 and has Asperger’s. He is fit and active but finds it difficult to connect with people, Mum and the rest of the family are trying to find ways to help him with this – to find things they hope he will enjoy, something he can do independently & help build confidence in social situations.
I met with Tom and his Mum one afternoon and over a cup of tea, got to know Tom a little, his hobbies & interests and we chatted about all things running related & this proved to be the start of a great running friendship.
For the club it was a fantastic opportunity to show the huge benefits there are to being part of this running family and the chance to show that running and being part of the club is for everyone.
Tom and I have now completed 12 weeks of running, having a great time with the Monday 6pm Step Up group and its clear to see that Toms pace and stamina is improving little by little each week – won’t be long before he may need a much speedier buddy!
More importantly, he is enjoying it – Mum has emailed to say he LOVES it, he’s interacting with the group, keen to do loop backs, shouting the obligatory reminders on posts & bikes and the confidence he shows is awesome – he attended last week’s run without me whilst I celebrated a family birthday (although nice to hear I was missed!).
On a personal note, I am so incredibly proud of Tom, I’ve enjoyed every run we have done – many of us remember that first night, where everyone seems to know which group they are in, know people to talk to etc. & it can be daunting, I know it was when I joined – so for Tom this was a huge challenge & he’s done amazing.
A big thank you to the Monday 6pm group who have been awesome and special mention to Glenn and Debbie for leading the group and being on hand if I needed them.
Tom is on holiday for the next couple of weeks and when he returns we are switching to the 6pm Weds group so we look forward to seeing you all then.