Belper’s runners urged to ‘get their kit on’

The Jog Belper group preparing for a run.
The Jog Belper group preparing for a run.

That time of year is upon us again, when New Year resolutions lead to the widespread buying of lycra and new trainers with the promise that this time, you’ll stick to it.

Well, a running group in Belper is aiming to help the town’s residents make those resolutions stick around for a little while longer.

Michelle Kinsey of Jog Belper

Michelle Kinsey of Jog Belper

JOG Belper, part of the county-wide JOG Derbyshire group, aims to get people out and about in the beautiful Amber Valley countryside to get fitter and become healthier.

Organiser of JOG Belper, Michelle Kinsey, who works as a cook at Duffield Meadows Primary School, said: “I started because I suffered from depression and was advised to start some exercise to help me with it.

“I now run with Derwent Runners a few nights a week and help to organise the JOG Belper group as well, so you could say I got into it.”

The group currently has 40 members, of whom around 30 turn up each week.

During the winter they stay mainly on the roads but in the summertime they try to take in some of the area’s more scenic locations.

The larger JOG Derbyshire group provide a training programme for the five leaders who then adapt it to the needs of the group.

The group has four subgroups; runner/walkers, beginners, improvers and advanced runners and participants can move between the groups during the ten-week programme.

Michelle, who lives on Moulton Close in Belper, said: “If you want to be challenged then you can be, but if you want a less strenuous run then that’s fine as well.”

She says some of their runners have even graduated to doing 10k runs and half marathons, and she herself plans to do the London marathon this April.

“The other runners find it really inspiring when members of the group complete one of the big races, thinking if they can do it then so can I,” says Michelle.

One common complaint, especially from women runners, is the abuse that sometimes come their way.

But Michelle says being part of such a big group helps reduce the ‘intimidation factor’ that such abuse can cause.

“If anything we’re probably more intimidating to them than they are to us!”

If you want to get involved in JOG Belper, or just want to find out more about the group, call Michelle on 07800 972957.