Followers of my blog will know that I’m an ambassador for 261Fearless, a movement which empowers women through running, all over the world. I’m really excited that the movement has come to the UK and that my running club has become the first official UK 261 Fearless club. More than that, I’m now involved in training other women to become coaches and set up their own clubs. Interested? Read on to find out what’s involved, we’d love to have you on board!
261 Fearless was set up by running legend Kathrine Switzer who was one of the woman warriors who paved the way for us all to run equally, alongside men. 261 was her bib number in the famous 1967 Boston marathon where the official tried to throw her off the course because she was a woman. It’s become a symbol of encouragement, motivation and fearlessness for women, whatever their challenge might be. The number itself and all it stands for has given many women the courage to pull on running shoes for the first time. It’s a natural progression for a running club network to be established. The movement was recently featured in Women’s Running UK magazine and on their website, you can read this feature here.
261 Fearless clubs aren’t about competition or training plans. They’re about meeting weekly to share and enjoy running (and walking too). They’re about friendships, support and encouragement. They’re for all abilities and the coaches are trained specifically in how to bring women runners of all levels together. There are fun activities but also running drills to help women run safely and injury free. They’re also special because the club has immediate global links with like-minded women. The 261Fearless network is spreading rapidly, because it works, because women who experience it feel its power.
You don’t have to be an experienced runner to become a coach. You just need to have a desire to share running with others and an hour a week to lead a club session. It doesn’t matter if you haven’t led a group before. If you’re one of those people who likes to encourage other women to start running, wants to share the benefits running has given you or find that because of your running other women come to you for advice about theirs, then this is for you.
The Train the Trainer retreats are two days long and you’ll leave ready to set up your own club. With a mixture of practical and theoretical work you’ll gain the skills needed to safely and confidently lead a group of women. You’ll meet other coaches planning to set up clubs too so you’ll have an immediate network of support and the master coaches will be available to guide you through any problems you may have, even if it’s just some suggestions for what you can do at your next session. Clubs can start with just 3 women meeting once a week and from our experience with existing clubs they’ll soon flourish and grow.
Does this sound like something you might like to do? Be brave and take the step! Our first retreat is in Manchester from Friday April 29th to Sunday May 1st. The cost is £170 plus accommodation. If you’re interested in this retreat or future ones or just want to find out more then send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
We’d love to hear from you #261Fearless