Women In Sport is dedicated to encouraging more women and girls to get into sports at any level. Credit: Stephanie Conway

Stephanie Conway: New and experienced runners wanted to run a half-marathon for a good cause

Stephanie Conway

After completing my first-ever 10k race, I’ve decided to set my sights on a new challenge: running my first-ever half-marathon.

But I don’t want to do it alone. I’m going to train to progress from running 6.2 miles to 13 miles, and I would like to invite you to join me.

If you fancy training for your first (or next) half-marathon, please get in touch.

I’d like to get a group of women together to help raise money for the charity, Women In Sport, which is dedicated to encouraging more women and girls to get into sports at any level.

Recent research from Women In Sport states that more than one million teenage girls in the UK that once considered themselves ‘sporty’, disengage from the sport following primary school.

A fear of feeling judged by others, lack of confidence, pressures of schoolwork and not feeling safe outside were some of the reasons given for not wanting to participate by this group of girls.

According to the same charity, there are over 700,000 more inactive women than men in England. For most of my 20s, I was one of them.

Join me for a half-marathon. Credit: Stephanie Conway
Join me for a half-marathon. Credit: Stephanie Conway

Beyond having a gym membership and going to a few yoga classes, I didn’t feel confident in my own capabilities to try new sports but moving to Devon and making new friends in the surf helped to change my perspective.

In the short time that I’ve been here, I’ve gone from being inactive to completely activity-crazy in my new home in North Devon.

Now, I’m learning to wakeboard on the slow speed at North Devon Wake Park, I’ve tried my hand at bouldering at Rock and Rapids in South Molton, progressed my surf skills with the King of Kooks Surf Development Training, and channelled my inner Million Dollar Baby at the Bideford Boxing Club.

You can’t keep me from trying new activities – even if I’m not naturally good at most of them. I’m addicted to the endorphin rush!

Sometimes I look back and think about the years of my life that I spent without an active lifestyle.

This current generation of women and girls are experiencing a worrying level of mental health issues and reporting being less happy, more anxious and being increasingly dissatisfied with their appearance.

But it doesn’t have to be this way.

The charity is continuously researching and gaining new insights into the sport through the eyes of women and girls across a range of communities, ages, life stages and backgrounds to support other organisations to improve their offering to women and girls.

If you’re a new runner, or if you fancy getting involved and running to help raise money for Women In Sport, feel free to reach out to join me in this journey.

Please send a message via Instagram DM to www.instagram.com/stephaniesconway.

We’ll go on regular group runs together and train to enter a half-marathon in September, while raising awareness for a good cause.