Students and staff limber up for half marathon

"It's not about who can run the fastest, it is about setting personal goals and improving fitness. Some of the team would never have dreamed of running a half marathon."

Steve Bateman, Senior Lecturer in Sport Therapy

A team of more than 40 students and staff from Staffordshire University are limbering up for the Stafford Half Marathon this weekend.

Steve Bateman, Senior Lecturer in Sports Therapy, is no stranger to sporting challenges after completing 10 marathons in 10 days last summer for the Donna Louise Trust and saw the 13 mile run in Stafford as an opportunity to promote health and fitness across the University.

He said: “I wasn't a marathon runner before the challenge last year and people kept asking me how I did it. I just kept saying that it was down to hard work and pushing myself.

“I decided the half marathon would be a great way to motivate others to do something outside of their comfort zone too.”

Steve has recruited 41 people from across the University and set up a running club in preparation for the challenge. Students and staff from the Sports Therapy team have been on hand to offer training advice and will also be available at the race on Sunday to help with any aches and sprains.

“We've got a whole range of abilities within the team - around a third have never run a half marathon. There are some people who are already keen runners, some coming back from injury and others who haven't done any running before!” explained Steve.

“It's not about who can run the fastest, it is about setting personal goals and improving fitness. Some of the team would never have dreamed of running a half marathon before this so seeing their progress has been great.”

Staff taking part include Dr Nigel Thomas, Dean of the School if Life Sciences, Dr Peter Jones, Dean of the School of Business, Leadership and Economics and Pro Vice-Chancellor Ieuan Ellis, a former international marathon runner.

Steve hopes to continue the running club after the Stafford Half Marathon and recruit even more people to take on the Potters 'Arf Marathon in Stoke later this year.

He said: “Events like this are a brilliant chance to showcase the community spirit that we have here at Staffs whilst promoting healthy lifestyles.

“Stoke-on-Trent was European City of Sport last year and we're keen to continue that legacy. We've got fantastic facilities here on campus at the Stanley Matthews Sports Centre and want to encourage staff, students and the public to make the most of them.” 

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