Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

We Were Couch Potatoes ...Never Thought We'd Be Suited to This TV Challenge

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

We Were Couch Potatoes ...Never Thought We'd Be Suited to This TV Challenge

Article excerpt

Byline: Mike Blackburn Senior Reporter

A PAIR of self-confessed "couch potatoes" from the Women's Institute had no idea what they were volunteering for when they agreed to take part in a challenge for TV.

Middlesbrough mums Pauline Osborne and Sharon Williams both prefer eating cakes to exercise - and never expected to be taking part in a half Iron Man triathlon!

The mammoth fitness endurance test involved a 1.2-mile swim, a 56-mile bike ride and a 13-mile run in California called Barb's Race.

Pauline and Sharon's heroic efforts will be broadcast on the Channel 5 show Go Hard or Go Home on Monday at 7pm.

The two, who are both in their fifties and have never done anything like this in the past, are part of the Women's Institute North East (WINE) group who meet at the Methodist Church Hall on The Grove in Marton on the last Tuesday of each month.

Explaining how they got involved in the unlikely and arduous adventure, Pauline, 53, from Marton, said: "Channel 5 approached the group about a 'challenge' and me and Sharon put our hands up because noone else would.

"We were then given a book of exercises to get on with for six weeks but we still had no idea what it was we would be doing when the cameras started to roll."

Determined not to be "fat and fifty", Pauline and Sharon began training five nights-a-week at Coulby Newham's Middlesbrough Council-run Rainbow Centre with the help of staff.

After six weeks they were called to Newcastle where the extent of the task was explained and the two were given a second six-week spell to prepare.

Sharon, 50, from Nunthorpe, who juggles working for someone else with running her own business, said before the show her weight "was creeping up and up and I hated how I looked".

"I was a yo-yo dieter and always found excuses not to eat healthily or keep up an exercise routine - there just never seemed to be enough hours in the day with running my own business as well as being a mum to two teenage boys. …

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