Since setting his own personal record of running fifteen consecutive half marathons, Westfield’s John Reynolds’ efforts to encourage others to run have gone from strength to strength.
After setting up Westfield TT, a weekly running group that meets regularly, the new beginners’ group is averaging around forty runners, with new recruits turning up each week. Such is the group’s success, John now has other leaders to help him, and the club even has its own team colours, debuting at events such as the Chew Valley 10k – the bright orange tops are certainly grabbing people’s attention!
Most recently, John has been asked to be an ambassador for the NEC Running Festival in Birmingham in January 2018, an opportunity to promote his good work and one he was thrilled to accept.
Speaking to The Journal, John said: “It has been extremely full-on with juggling work, the running groups, fixtures and kit – arranging meetings and talks with various organisations. But it is worth every second, with some fantastic results coming back, with everyone really excelling in their running.
“I can’t believe how well the club has come on. The beginners’ groups now have new people virtually every week, and our team colours are attracting a lot of attention at events; far more than I anticipated when choosing them!”
Most recently, John completed his toughest challenge yet, helping to raise awareness for Time is Precious, the Coleford charity that he is Patron of, which raises funds to help children and their families who have to spend prolonged periods of time in hospital. Completing 150 miles in 36 hours, with little or no sleep, John is now aiming to see if he can run 100 miles a day, taking part in a huge run in September to complete 250 miles in 2.5 days. This will be the equivalent of a whopping nineteen half marathons, upping his mileage considerably and will undoubtably be the most difficult feat so far.
As well as inspiring adults to run, John has been taking the message out to local schools, who are following his various challenges. Fascinated by his incredible story of mind over matter, which saw him having to learn to walk again after the side effects of radiotherapy and with the running helping to stop his body seizing up, John has been an inspiration to many, and one whose story we hope to follow for many years to come. Good luck, John!
If you would like to find out more about the Club, find them on Facebook at Westfield TT Running Group.