IN JUST over two weeks' time, the Ignis Asset Management Women's 10k will hit the streets of Glasgow – have you signed up yet?
Postal entries close on Friday if you want your race pack and t-shirt sent out to you, so register now at www.runglasgow.org
But you don't have to run to take part – hundreds of women walk the route instead. Pat Highland has battled back to health to walk her first 10k this year and she's encouraging walkers everywhere to join her!
ANN FOTHERINGHAM reports.
PAT Highland likes a challenge – and walking the women's 10k on May 13 will be one of her biggest yet.
The 61-year-old, from Castlemilk, Glasgow, had a liver transplant around 18 months ago after battling hepatitis C.
"I hadn't been well for a few years, on and off, and eventually doctors told me I had hep C – it was a real shock," she explains.
"I couldn't take any of the medication because my body rejected it so I had to have the transplant operation. Luckily, it went well, and since then I've just been trying to get back to good health."
Pat joined Glasgow Life's Health Walks programme, and she says it has made a huge difference to her life.
"Walking is great exercise but if you join one of the health walk groups, it's also very sociable," she smiles. "You become like one big extended family, it's fantastic."
Pat and her fellow walkers meet every Tuesday and Thursday at Castlemilk Community Centre, walking around the local area over varied routes and distances. Last year, she completed the Glasgow Running Network's 5K in Bellahouston Park but the 10K will be her biggest distance so far.
"I want to prove to myself I can do it," she says. "I'm a determined person, and I'm determined to do it. About five or six of us are doing it together, and we are really looking forward to it. I think the crowd's cheers along the route will keep us going."
Just 30 minutes of moderate physical activity, such as walking briskly, can make a massive difference to your health.
Walking a mile burns as many calories as running a mile and walking regularly makes you feel good, helps with weight management, gives you more energy and reduces stress.
Research has shown that walking regularly also reduces blood pressure and cuts in half the risk of developing heart disease.
A great way to start walking is by joining a local health walk. These are free, short walks up to an hour long led by trained volunteers and there are more than 40 across the city every week.
Thousands of women are expected to take part in the Ignis Asset Management women's 10K at Bellahouston Park on May 13.
This year, race organiser Glasgow Life has made some improvements to the event, including the chance to upgrade to a technical t-shirt and entertainment at every 500 metres rather than at the kilometre marks.
THERE will also be more start pulses, in the hope of reducing congestion at the start line and pacemakers to help you run to a target time if you hope for a personal best.
You don't have to be an athlete to take part, of course, and many women enter to support a good cause or charity close to their heart.
For everyone who crosses the finishing line, however, the sense of achievement is fantastic – so what are you waiting for?
There is still time to enter – visit www.runglasgow.gov.uk to sign up.
If you are interested in joining a health walk club, you can access more information from www.glasgowlife.org.uk/healthwalks or call 0141 287 0963.
This easy plan should take you from being a complete novice to comfortably completing the 10K in 10 weeks.
Monday: Jog for 20 mins
Tuesday: Jog for 15 mins
Wednesday: Jog for 40 mins
Friday: Jog for 30 mins
Sunday: 60 mins of jog/walk
Week 9: April 30 - May 6
Organisers of the Ignis Asset Management Women's 10K are offering free travel for race day participants.
All runners in the 2012 event will receive free vouchers for use on Glasgow's Subway system and for free parking at selected Subway stations.
The vouchers can be redeemed for up to four return Subway tickets on race day and free parking in selected Subway car parks.
Free Shuttle buses will run from Shields Road Subway station and Cochrane Street (city centre) to and from the start of the race.
For more details, visit the website http://www.runglasgow.org/ 10k-2012/travel.php
Shebahn Littlejohn, 21, Clyde One travel reporter, is writing a women's 10K diary for the Evening Times. You can also keep up to date with her on Twitter @shebahn.
This week, Shebahn is on tenterhooks....
THE countdown is on! Just over two weeks to go and I'm really excited now. If you haven't signed up, then do it now! For most of us, it's not about who can run fastest, or how long it takes, it's about taking part.
I was at the gym on Monday night on the treadmill, casually jogging and listening to tunes. I ended up running around seven kilometres without really realising.
I've been finding it a little easier at this stage in my training plan to run on the treadmill rather than pavements. It doesn't tire me out so much. It's good to mix both, but I'm planning to get back on to the concrete so it's not as much of a shock to my legs on race day.
I find out next week what costume I will be running in.
Last year it was a mascot bunny outfit, the year before a chicken - what's next? I dread to think!
I do hope the lovely people who live in Pollokshaws Road will be out in force on the streets again this year to dish out water and hose me down. It's not a pretty sight...