"Until around 2008 I was quite overweight, very unfit and was starting to feel unhappy. I decided to do something about it. So I started running.
When I started I could barely make it around the block but I kept going and soon began building up more stamina, but as I started to go further I found that it was difficult to enjoy myself while pounding concrete in the built up city. I was living in Manchester at the time and I soon realised that the canals were the perfect escape. I discovered that running, particularly through beautiful locations and along peaceful towpaths was a great meditative way to clear my mind.
My fitness, and happiness, soon improved and I started to set myself bigger challenges. The first race I ran was the Bupa Manchester 10k in 2009 for charity. Since then I’ve completed 5 marathons which I largely trained for along the canals around Manchester and I’m currently training for my 6th.
Recently my partner and I relocated to the countryside to escape urban living. I now have unfettered access to the stunningly beautiful Rochdale canal. Running has given me a lease of life and peace of mind I didn’t know I could possess prior to lacing up my shoes for the first time. This led me into wanting to learn more about the medicinal potential of exercise for both physical and mental well-being. I wanted to turn my passion into a way to help others. And so, after working in a cafe for 6 years, I made the decision to go back to college, complete an Access course, and am now in the middle of a physiotherapy degree. I couldn’t be happier and am continuing to enjoy running the canals of Calderdale every chance I can."
Vee, Rochdale Canal