As Matt Baker and his pedal-powered One Show rickshaw team prepare to ride into town tomorrow, a Bedford-based personal trainer has been doing her bit to raise vital funds for Children in Need.
Larissa Clarke of Transition Coaching has undertaken a 24 hour fitness challenge with her clients, beginning at 6pm last night (Tuesday) and culminating in a flash-mob silent disco at Mill Meadows (The Embankment) bandstand at 5.30pm this evening.
So far, they’ve raised £1,100 – with a few hours still to go.
A former Park Ranger and Parks Officer at Bedford Borough Council, Larissa took redundancy five years ago and ploughed her pay-out into training to be a personal trainer.
“I wanted to share my love of being active and my love of being outdoors,” said Larissa. “In our Couch to 5k sessions I make sure we run round all of Bedford’s parks so that everyone can experience Bedford’s beautiful open spaces.”
Over the last five years, Larissa’s women-only sessions have built up a ‘fitness family’ who have been only too happy to help her raise money for this year’s Children in Need.
“We’ve had around 50 people taking part overall,” said Larissa, as she oversaw a ‘resistance’ session as part of the challenge at her gym on Fenlake Industrial Estate.
“At midnight last night, 25 ladies joined me for a seven mile walk through Bedford. It was hard planning the route, as I knew we’d be quite noisy, so needed to make sure we avoided residential areas so we wouldn’t wake people up!”
The success of Transition Coaching is evident in the achievements of her clients. “So many people have come along to our Couch to 5k sessions having never run before, and are now entering 10k races, half marathons and marathons,” said Larissa.
“We have mothers and daughters who come along, and other women who have inspired their friends and family to take up exercise.
“Anyone is welcome to join us at the bandstand 5.30pm tonight for our silent disco. Just bring some headphones and prepared to be embarrassed for the first few minutes. Then it’ll be brilliant!”
If you can’t take part in Transition Coaching’s 24 Hour Challenge, you can still donate to their Children in Need fundraiser here.