Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Fitness Quest for Teams in NHS Challenge

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Fitness Quest for Teams in NHS Challenge

Article excerpt

NHS Tees recently appealed for volunteers willing to ditch their unhealthy lifestyles to take part in a new and exciting challenge and the response was overwhelming. The NHS Tees Challenge is to complete four road races in the area during 2010, one in each borough. Personal trainer Phil Barker has now selected four runners from each area to help improve their fitness and to get them through the races.

The lucky 16 runners will be asked to complete the following: March 28 Hartlepool Marina Five Mile Road Race May 3 Tees Barrage 10K July 25 Marske 10K September 5 Middlesbrough 10K The life-changing challenge was aimed at helping people who are totally unfit to get active and adopt healthier lifestyles.

It follows the success of a similar project held earlier this year which saw several people who had previously done very little exercise get in shape for the Middlesbrough 10K Road Race.

This was organised by NHS Middlesbrough in partnership with the Evening Gazette, Tees Pride and the Tees Barrage 10K and Maltby Road Race and the runners did not disappoint. They each completed two 10k races and some of them are now setting their sights on half marathons and even a full marathon.

Because the project proved so successful, NHS Middlesbrough, NHS Hartlepool, NHS Redcar and Cleveland and NHS Stockton-on-Tees decided to repeat the process on a larger scale, recruiting four members of the public from each area.

Original Team Tees Pride members, including Vince Ryan and Karen Coaker who are pictured training with Phil, will act as mentors and the 16 selected runners will also be coached by Phil Barker, the trainer who oversaw the initial project. Phil said: "This follows the success of the Tees Team Pride event. These people, who were not athletes in any way shape or form, are now looking at running significant distances, many miles in some cases. "It's great that we are now taking this project further and recruiting more people from similar backgrounds to help them get fit and healthy. "We were looking for men and women who want to lose weight and give up smoking, who are totally unfit but want to change to a healthier lifestyle and who have the determination to take part in an 11-month challenge. …

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