Sticking to a new year’s resolution is no mean feat – but that is exactly what Hadleigh mum-of-two Faith Archer did.
Faith, a freelance journalist and blogger, decided her sedentary lifestyle sitting behind a computer every day needed to change, but she found exercising difficult.
As a busy mum to Isabel, nine, and George, seven, she had little time to devote to working out to get fit.
So in January, she decided to start running for exercise with an NHS programme called Couch to 5K, which gets people running three times a week for 40 minutes, over a nine-week period.
Just nine months later, and with help and support from her husband Josh and her running club buddy, Hannah, she has completed her first half-marathon, 13 miles, in the Great East Run in Ipswich on Sunday.
“I am amazed to have completed it,” said Faith. “It’s the longest distance I have ever run in my life.
“I am a very unlikely runner, but I definitely intend to carry on now that I’ve got to this stage.”
After making her new year’s resolution and starting to run, Faith was selected by the race organisers to get extra support for her running regime after they launched an appeal.
“They were asking for first-time runners to get in contact and I was shocked when they came back to me in early February to say I’d been picked,” she said.
“They helped with my training programme and matched me with a woman from Jaffa Running Club in Ipswich called Hannah. My runs started to get longer.
“I found the time for running after I’d dropped the kids off at school; then there were no excuses for not going,” she added.
Faith, who writes on personal finance for national newspapers, moved to Hadleigh three years ago.
She writes blogs on her website Much More With Less, about moving and living on less money and being frugal.
On Sunday, she joined around 3,000 runners who took to the streets for the run, along with her husband, who also took part.
The couple raised more than £500 in sponsorship for St Elizabeth Hospice, where Josh works for the fundraising team.
The hospice provides care to people with progressive and incurable illnesses and costs cost £9.1 million a year, with almost 75 per cent coming from the local community.