We are delighted to continue our 2018 Local Hero series with an incredible Southampton hero, Carol Bradwell, who coaches ParkLive’s Run 4 Fun sessions.
Following a doctor’s recommendation, Carol joined a running group based in Mayflower Park, Southampton. Shortly after joining, she entered the London Marathon with fellow members and completed the race in aid of the Autistic Society; an organisation who helped her during her teaching career. Her new-found love of running motivated her to qualify as a coach and soon she began coaching young children in Winchester.
In 2016, Carol came to the Outdoor Sports Centre intending simply to hand out leaflets about her Race for Life running group, which was for beginner ladies. However, whilst she was there, she was inspired to join ParkLives and has since set up the ParkLives group, in conjunction with her Race for Life group. Once a month on a Saturday morning, Carol also takes a small group from her Run 4 Fun session to the New Forest for longer training. They have built up mileage from 3-4 miles to nearly 7 now. It is clear to see that Carol goes above and beyond for her classes!
As well as coaching, Carol takes the time to enjoy running for herself and often enters fun-runs to raise money for charity such as the Southampton Airport charity run, for which she donned fancy dress! On top of all this, she is running half-marathons and 10kms this spring!
Aside from running, Carol has recently taken up triathlons and wants to start canoeing lessons. She also enjoys walking in the forest but says that running is easily her favourite: anything from relay runs to 24-hour runs!
Despite all the races she enters, Carol favours non-competitive events and feels strongly that running should be for fun. Her philosophy is that running should, above all, be free, engaging and enjoyable. Ultimately, she wants to help people feel successful and enjoy running – be it on their own or in a race.
Her positive attitude and commitment to helping others is incredible. Carol’s Run 4 Fun sessions take place at 6:30-7:30pm every Wednesday evening at the Outdoor Sports Centre as part of ParkLives Southampton. It’s an excellent, inclusive running class for anyone over the age of 16 – whether you’re a complete novice or an experienced runner. The sessions are broken down into a warm up, coaching, games, cool down and stretches – come along and get involved!
Carol is an inspiring example of how it’s never too late to discover your passion and that anyone, no matter what their age or ability, can find a way to get active that suits their lifestyle. If, like Carol, you think you could find a new hobby in running, then find out more about running with Active Nation here.