Each month, we select a lucky newcomer to RW's 390,000-strong member community and reward them with £100 of Asics kit. Here we catch up with our two most recent winners...
High blood pressure and a slowly expanding waistline were the motivations behind father-of-two Paul Courtney (aka Paul – G1PDC and our January Member Of The Month) first reaching for his trainers a few years ago. And though Paul confesses he’s not "built like a runner, and certainly doesn’t eat pasta and chicken every evening", he’s a keen advocate of running’s fitness benefits.
"I’ve lost all three male members of my family to heart-related problems," he says, "so I know how important it is for me to keep fit and healthy. My five-year-old son is a Type 1 diabetic too - it’s good for him to realise the importance of exercise at an early age."
After completing a couple of 10Ks last year – and a 4K Santa fun run with the whole family in tow – Paul’s next challenge is the adidas Silverstone Half-Marathon, which he’s running in aid of the British Heart Foundation.
"Joining the website has been really useful for finding out about races that aren’t as widely publicised as the large-scale charity events," he says, "and I love the forums too – whatever your question or problem, someone’s always ready to share their experience and offer advice."
"I’d been buying the magazine, but was injured and ill, so turned to the website for extra distraction." Replied Jo Quinn (aka PloddingOn and our December Member Of The Month) when asked what first brought her to runnersworld.co.uk at the end of last year.
Although no stranger to sport – Jo used to represent her province at swimming back in her homeland of South Africa – it was the death of her father from smoking-related diseases three months ago that kick-started both Jo’s new cigarette-free lifestyle and her return to running. "I always loved sprinting as a kid, but never thought about doing longer distances. Since joining the site though, I’ve somehow found myself signing up for the Bala Middle Distance Triathlon in June."
Jo’s give-it-a-go attitude – as well as her happy-go-lucky sense of humour – was evident from the moment she hopped on the forums, and got herself along to one of the newly organised London Hyde Park Runs. "I’ve met some brilliant people," she says of her fellow RW members. "There’s a real sense of community here, and it’s a great place just to pass the time cracking jokes too!"
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