Georgia rises to the challenge

Georgia Walker.
Georgia Walker.

Stranraer’s Georgia Walker had put in months of training in preparation for the Great Scottish Run 10k but it all boiled down to one thing - a very big hill.

The Glasgow-based race famously starts with a tough incline so Georgia knew that the first kilometre would be the hardest.

The 46-year-old was supported by the Bank of Scotland Community Challenge and made it up the hill and through the race in 1:03.26.

As one of more than 25 participants in the Community Challenge Georgia was provided with a training plan and access to a post-race VIP area, where she met Olympians Eilidh Doyle and Jo Pavey.

Reaching the summit of such a slope was quite an achievement, but the Coronation Day Centre worker insisted the most special part of the day was meeting her fellow runners.

“It was amazing meeting all the other Community Challenge guys and girls,” she said.

“We’d been talking through a Facebook page for a few months and we’d got to know each other really well, but having the chance to meet each other for the first time was brilliant.

“We were so glad that we were all there and we’d made it to what felt like the end of something, but the beginning of something else as well. At the end of it all we were all talking about when we were going to do the next one – we’re all going to keep in touch. We knew it didn’t matter what time we did it in, we’d all be there at the end. I was with friends, that’s what the Community Challenge group have become to me. The hill at the beginning was a great metaphor for the whole thing, we all knew if we could get to the top of that hill, we’d finish it.”

As well as the personal challenge, Georgia signed up to raise some money for her workplace, the Coronation Day Centre. The centre promotes social inclusion in people over 65, providing them with a place to meet up, participate in activities and receive a three-course hot meal.

Georgia had already done the Great North Run in September, but wanted to add the 10k as an extra test to encourage donations.

“I wouldn’t say the run was easy by any stretch of the imagination, I kind of knew that I could do the distance because I did the Great North Run,” she added.

“But it’s a totally different ball game when you get to the start of a race like that. It was my first big, competitive 10k with a crowd so even though I knew I’d done the miles in training and that I should be strong enough to get a half-decent time, the nerves kick in. The support I had from the day centre members has been brilliant though, I raised £272 at the last count and I’ve got some more to collect.”

Bank of Scotland supported runners from communities across Scotland on a 10 weeks to 10k challenge for the Bank of Scotland Great Scottish Run Community Challenge. For more information, visit greatscottishrun.com/community-challenge