A GROUP of special ladies are celebrating their first anniversary.
The Goal-den Girls, an over-50s running group set up to work towards running a marathon in 2012, have now been going for 12 months.
The women – all 30 of them – train three or four times every week, and have covered many miles across the whole of the Fylde coast over the last year – including in St Annes, Lytham, Fleetwood, the De Vere, down the Promenade and round Stanley Park.
They have run in several big events and races – including the Santa dash for Trinity Hospice, Beaverbrooks 10k, Sotos 10k and the Race for Life – and will be taking part in the 10-mile Pier to Pier next month. They have also run in Manchester, Lancaster, the Great North Run and for one night only, they recently walked the Illumathon – a 10-mile midnight walk in aid of Trinity Hospice.
Tricia Ellis, who started the group, said: “It’s hard to believe it’s a year already. All the ladies have done so well.
“The majority still work full-time – my research shows there is not another all female running group of over-50 ladies in the UK, and therefore in my mind that makes us unique – I am very proud of this group.
“When we met last year for the first time, our common goal was to train for a marathon, but during the past 12 months we have become more than just a group of people training for a marathon – the Goal-den Girls has become something to be extremely proud of.
“Not only are these ladies training for a marathon, they are also making extraordinary sacrifices to raise money for five local good causes – North West Air Ambulance, the Hint of Pink breast cancer charity, Young Carers, Clifton Dialysis Unit and National Coastwatch.
“We have already had a very successful barbecue and our future plans include a quiz night, fashion show, a Goal-den Girls 10k run, a calendar, running a charity shop for a week, afternoon tea and a celebration ball when we have done the marathon.”
The team has chosen the Edinburgh marathon – which will take place in May – as the 26-miler they want to run. And they were recently treated to a make-over day and photo shoot by the Daily Record newspaper.
The group has been awarded the Inspire Mark by the Olympic Committee, and were invited to visit the Olympic Stadium in London.
The ladies have also nominated Tricia as a torch-bearer for the Olympics next year.
She said: “It’s been a great year, and we have all come so far. We are all looking forward now to the marathon next year.”