It has been a golden decade for a silver ladies running group and now they are looking ahead for the next 10 years.
Tricia Ellis, of Bispham, cannot believe that her plan to train a bunch of fifty somethings to complete the Edinburgh Marathon has extended to create a tight running community for 10 years.
The 62-year-old, who has been a running coach for 20 years, launched Goal-den Girls in 2010, expecting the group to come to a close once the marathon had finished in 2012.
But the women carried on and have completed many more challenges and raised £60,000 for various charities, including NWAAS, Hint of Pink, Blackpool Carers, Fylde Coast Women’s Aid, Brian House and Young Carers. They have done coast to coast walks; danced in Funny Girls; trained for three months to learn a flashmob routine; walked up The Big One and hosted ladies evenings.
Their hard work has not gone unnoticed as they have won many awards, including The Inspire Mark from the Olympics Committee, Blackpool Sports Team of the Year in 2013 and most recently, a Blackpool Local Heroes Award in 2019.
They are now looking ahead for 2020, with a half marathon and a party to celebrate 10 years.
Read more: Blackpool’s over 50s Goal-den Girls are charity gold and Goal-den Girls hit target by raising £5,000 from run
Tricia, who was awarded Lancashire Unsung Hero in 2011, said: “I began running in the 1980s at a time when women were not really doing it. I took up a UK Athletics Coach qualification and I became a coach to get women running and walking in the early 2000s.
“I wanted to encourage women to run, especially if they had bad experiences at school.
“Then in 2010, I had an idea to get women in their 50s - similar age to me - to run a marathon in 2012, which was an Olympic year. It was a condition that they had never run before. It was like an experiment and it worked.
“After 2012, I thought that would be it, but we stuck together as a group and have reached 10 years, which is a massive achievement.
“We are quite unique. My eldest lady is nearly 75, Pam Binns, who runs for Lytham Runners.
“We show that you should never give up whatever age you are.”