Gran, 71, determined to keep running after starting six years ago

Gran, 71, determined to keep running after starting six years ago
Gran, 71, determined to keep running after starting six years ago

A GRAN who overtook her daughter in her first race, aged 65, is now getting set to take part in yet another run.

Now 71, Catherine Wilson will be racing towards the finish line during the Great Scottish Run’s half marathon to raise money for Alzheimer Scotland.

The gran of 10 has already completed the charity run twice before and has also run a marathon, as well as 10k races and much more.

Catherine, from Renfrew, didn’t start running until she was 65 when she was inspired to raise money for the Royal Alexandra Hospital in Paisley.

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She said: “I hadn’t run anywhere since I was about 12. But my daughter Karen’s baby was born prematurely.

“I wanted to do something for the hospital, and it was my daughter who said we should sign up to do a race, so it all started from there.”

Catherine then caught the running bug and signed up to take part in organised 5km runs every Saturday.

She then joined Kilbarchan Amateur Athletic Club (Kilbarchan AAC) and took part in their training sessions, which she still does each week.

“I do three or four races a year, always for a different charity”, Catherine says. “I know with my age I’ll have to stop at one point, but I want to keep going as long as I can!

“I’ve met so many lovely people through running, whether through the Park Runs on a Saturday morning or Kilbarchan AAC.

“For my first race, one of the ladies who was much faster ran with me the whole way to keep me motivated. Running is full of people like that. It happens in the Great Scottish Run too, and the crowd is always very noisy and supportive! It gives you a boost.

“I left school when I was 15 and went straight into work until I retired. When I get these medals and certificates, it really means a lot. I received a lovely letter from our local MSP Neil Bibby too, which is up on the wall.”

Catherine, who trains three times a week, says the key to taking up running, no matter what your age, is to take it at your own pace.

She said: “You can do a couch to 5k programme, find a running club, or just go out on your own. Run a bit, walk a bit, run a bit and walk a bit - that’s how I got started and now I’ve got marathons under my belt.

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“I found crunchy electrolyte cubes in a sports shop, and they are great for keeping me going on a long run.

“The best training tip I can give is just to keep at it and go slowly whenever you need to.”

Catherine’s family will be cheering her on at the Great Scottish Run because, as she says, laughing, “I’ve not managed to get any of them to run with me since I lapped my daughter”.

Visit greatrun.org/Scotland to register for the Great Scottish Run, which will take place on Sunday, October 2 in Glasgow.