WIN! A place on the Up & Running 5K, 10K or 21K Course

Shauna Reid & Julia Jones

Me and Coach Julia

It's been a whole year since I first asked if you guys wouldn't mind having a look at This Running Thing We Made, and I'm so chuffed that Up & Running is now alive and thriving. A year ago Julia and I had just met in person and had only a skimpy website, an empty forum, one lonely 5K e-course and a bellyful of excitement (okay, mild terror too). But today there is so much more to look at:

Keanu Reeves whoa!

I just noticed a comment on the ye olde Introducing Up & Running post from a girl named Jo: "Arghhh… I'm so tempted to sign up, but… is this actually possible???". Jo did sign up, aced the 5K, is about to start the 10K course, and this May is coming all the way from Australia for our first ever Alumni Retreat in Italy. Jo, you crazy cat!

I could tell 100 similar stories of women doing things they didn't know they could do but I know you're busy people and would not want to miss anyone out. But to all the Up & Runners out there, thank you for showing me day after day what happens when you figure out what you want, make a plan, then get off your bum and go for it :) 

Up & Running

What's next? Our next 5K Course starts on Monday 5 March and the 10K Course starts on Thursday 8 March, and each run for eight weeks. Our brand new Half Marathon course runs for 12 weeks and is self-paced, so you can dive in to that one at any time, whenever it suits you and your race date.

So… fancy joining us? This is an brilliant time of year for a new challenge – Spring is on the way in the Northern Hemisphere, and it's cooling off down south. Just think how smug you would feel crossing the finish line at your first 5K or 10K come May?

I'm giving away three free places, with the winner choosing the course they'd like to do. All you have to do is leave a comment on this blog post and tell me, What's the best thing that happened to you over the past year?

  • Entries close 11PM GMT this Friday 24 February
  • There will be three winners and they have their choice of 5K, 10K or Half Marathon course
  • The winner can gift the prize to a friend, so you can enter if you choose not to run but know someone who would like to!
  • Winners will be randomly selected.
  • Winners can be from anywhere in the world. Remember the Courses are for women only.

Winner will be announced this Saturday 25 Feburary. Woohoo!

78 thoughts on “WIN! A place on the Up & Running 5K, 10K or 21K Course

  1. The best thing that happened to me in the past year didn’t happen to me, I made it happen: I ran a 10k-race that I’d trained for 16 weeks for in the time and manner that I’d wanted to be able to run it. It was hard (the training more so than the actual race), but it was so worth it. And the best thing in 2011, hands down.

  2. i gave birth to my baby boy on nov 11 (yeah, he was actually born 11.11.11)
    i think 2011 will be my favorite year for ever and ever

  3. The best thing that happened to me last year was making the decision to start properly noticing all the good things that were happening to me and thanking my lucky stars for them. Writing gratitude lists, Big or small, the more I noticed, the more and more good things kept happening in abundance, the whole shift in my thinking has made me a much more positive person. Rather than focussing on what I don’t have I focus on what I have and what I can achieve. Becoming more positive and thankful for what I have was the best thing that happened to me last year.

  4. The best thing that happened to me was listening to my husband who wanted me to see my doctor about how I had been feeling. I was diagnosed with postnatal depression just before Christmas and started medication soon after. I’m waiting on a referral for counselling too but the medication has really kicked in now and I’m back exercising and living a much happier life! I have even signed up for a 10k run in May which scares the crap out of me so I REALLY NEED this!

  5. The best thing that happened to me over the last year had to be taking that first step into a weight watchers meeting and losing just over 4 stone (still 2 to go) after having been overweight for all of my life (age 40) with this weight loss comes the knowledge of YOU CAN DO IT if you put your mind to it! This year is the year I learn to run!!

  6. The best thing that happened to me in 2011 was learning that my husband did NOT have cancer, as we’d been told he did. Initial dreadful, horrible diagnosis came in March. BENIGN tumor was snipped out in May.

  7. The best thing that happened to me in the past year was the birth of my son. He lights up my life in so many ways, but one thing that has lacked in my life since he was born is taking care of myself. I would love to win one of these spots!

  8. I was going to say the same thing about happening and making happen. πŸ™‚ I’m so glad you asked because it made me realise I’ve got my priorities completely confused and need to have a wee stop and a think about life…but the best thing: the circus/acrobatics classes I took last autumn. The support from the group, learning my limits, occasionally crossing them and simply having fun…it was late at night and I had to talk myself into going every time but always came back home with a big smile on my face.

    Now I have my eyes firmly fixed on that half-marathon course. πŸ™‚ I run because it’s free (student budget) but could definitely use a plan and a bit of support.

  9. Hi Shauna–
    I don’t need to be entered in the drawing as I already did the 5K course (and it was AWESOME) but I just wanted to say the new website looks amazing and I’m thrilled to hear about SuperJO!

    Congrats to you on so much progress!!

  10. The best thing that has happened FOR me this year has been releasing some really old emotional stuff I’d been storing in my body for years. As I worked through the release of it, my body asked for me to start running again.

  11. Since the hunt started in 2011, even though got it in 2012, I am going to say my new job. The contract was not renewed for my current position so I had 7 months to get a new job, which I did with a month to spare. Whew!

  12. The best thing that happened to me last year was getting my dream job with a wonderful charity. I’ve met some lovely people working there, and a few of us are planning to run a half marathon later this year to raise money for the organisation, so winning a place on the course would be fantastic!

  13. The best thing that happened in the last year was my husband and I adopted a dog. She is wonderful, adorable, and perfect. I show her picture to anyone that stops long enough for me to pull out my phone.

  14. The best thing that happened to me was the arrival of my daughter. It has been a very wondrous (and somewhat crazy-making) year as a result, in so many ways!

  15. So hard to summarise the best thing that happened to me this year……it sounds corny but I think I finally kinda “found myself”. I went to a self-help coach, I learnt to look after myself, I worked on my confidence, I joined a zumba class, I let go of my reliance on comfort-eating, I started going to spin class and I dropped a dress size. Most importantly I beat the “big D”. I fought that stinker off with sheer grit and determination and hard work.

    Best thing I did this year: Learn to love myself and be HAPPY.

  16. My best thing in 2011 was paying off all my student loans – I’m completely debt free for this first time since I graduated college!

  17. Actually, I’m struggling to come up with the good stuff, it’s been a somewhat crappy year, but now I’m ready to shake myself out of it, and do something to get fit and healthy, and this would be perfect!

  18. 2011 was a fantastic year for me but the higlight was definitely the birth of my little boy, who will be 1 on 9th March this year. Like many of the other mummies, I have been totally focussed on him and not on taking care of myself so I would love to win a place so that I can get fit for my July wedding! X

  19. Finally figured out my bra size! This is a big deal as it means I now have a sports bra that fits, which means I can run (ahem)! Plus other stuff (new job, cochlear implant, new confidence) happened.

  20. I ran my first half marathon! It was one of the greatest feelings of self-satisfaction (and utter exhaustion!) I’ve ever had. I’ve been suffering from an Achilles injury for most of the time since, and haven’t been able to run much at all. I’m ready to get back into it and push towards another half, and maybe even a full marathon.

  21. Starting my blog is the best thing that have happen to me last year.
    It gives me a sense of achievement, create new friendships with people having similar interests and encourage me to stay fit!
    I feel a lot happier and fulfil since I started blogging.

  22. I have to second the getting a dog. Beautiful fellow we named Clarence. He’s really brightened our lives. He’d love to go running so this would be a great match for us.

  23. Best thing that happened to me this year is that I moved to England! Made tonnes of new friends and have started a new life here!

  24. My evil micro-managing, inappropriate-comment-making, narcissistic freak of a boss got fired and as a result my depression lifted and anxiety improved greatly!

  25. The best thing about 2011 is that I learned just how much my family sticks together. Our family suffered one tragedy after another beginning in Oct 2010 with the totally unexpected passing of husband, the hospitalization of my disabled son in March, 2011, the sudden death of my father(July), stupid accidents involving my bother and my mother(August, they are recovered thank you) and finally the saddest of all the car accident that took my sixteen year old niece’s life in November. I am trying to get healthy and doing this course would surprise my daughter and enable me to particpate in my first 5K with her even if she is doing the half marathon. The timing is perfect as the race is on 4/29/12. Thanks!

  26. One of the best things I made happen: The awed look in my husbands eyes after I ran my very first 5K race! Thank you Julia & Shauna ;). I would love to give a 5K course to one of my friends so she can have a similar experience πŸ™‚ (and I get a run buddy, hah πŸ™‚

  27. The best thing that happened in the last year was The Big Trip to the US. I like the half marathon program but I haven’t run a 10k in under 70 minutes for years

  28. The best thing that happened to me was having my baby boy in February 2011 – he’s such a cutie!

  29. that’s a tricky question. um i guess a trip to rarotonga was the highlight, but i kind of made that happen? anyway i would super love a spot in the course!

  30. The best thing that happened to me this year was deciding to give up smoking and learn to run. Its been 6 months of no smoking and I feel so much healthier for it. I am still learning to enjoy running but it is something that I never thought possible for me.

  31. The best things that happened to me this year were:
    1) I (finally) realized that each day that finds the people I love to be happy, healthy and well is a truly a gift
    2) there aren’t many problems that can’t be made better, or at least my perspective on them greatly improved, by a 5km run around the river with my faithful running companion, Tucker the Wonder Dog

  32. The best thing that happened to me was being in a country where people couldn’t pronounce my name, so I had to go by a nickname. This set off an experiment where I decided to see just what I was like in the absence of any preconceived notions of me. That summer of yes resulted in a blog, a 200-mile relay, a half-marathon, a healthier lifestyle than ever before and a much clearer outlook on life πŸ™‚

  33. Last year I decided to change into the music industry, and just when I was doubting my state of mind, because I didn’t know how to do that, a friend of my husband mailed. He asked whether we knew someone who could help with some problems his band had. Of course I could and had my first project. This guy hadn’t contacted us for years. Miracles can happen! And your question came just in time to remind me of that.

  34. I got my first steady job as an apprentice electrician… And ended up on a crew with some really excellent blokes! Just three more years, and I’ll be a fully qualified sparky, which has me so excited.

  35. The best thing to happen me this year was to finally accept myself for who I am and learn to love that person

  36. The best thing that happened to me last year… tough one. There is so much good stuff to choose from! Many health-related revelations and milestones met… but after some consideration, the best thing was having one of my weird short stories picked up for a serious publication on the topic of child poverty. ^^

    (I am only living healthy so I can spend my whole long life being a writer. What can I say?)

  37. The best thing that happened to me last year was getting engaged. After years of toxic, damaging relationships I have found my best friend and partner who accepts me for who I am (even if I don’t) and supports me through life. We get married in September this year in a beautiful little Turkish fishing village and I’m trying hard to get my butt in gear for that dress!

  38. Don’t need to be in the draw, cause I’m already in the UAR fold, but wanted to say that I loooooove those pics of you and Julia! I also love the foxy new website πŸ™‚

    To the many people who won’t win a spot – sign up anyway!!! UAR is worth every penny, and will pay you back a million fold.

  39. Just one thing? Can I have two?

    I learned that I love writing (well, blogging). That when I’m walking to work or making pastry I write whole paragraphs in my head and can’t wait to note them down.

    And I made a Big Decision and signed up to pastry school in Paris. We get yelled at for being no-hopers (that’s the French way) but I don’t care, because I am literally up to my elbows in chocolate mousse.

    Congratulations on Making Something Happen – Up and Running looks pretty bloody amazing.

  40. Ok, best thing…realising that I do best at being me and the best course of events is for me to accept that I am crap at some things, can increase my skills in some things and, I do have good, natural skills & abilities…who knew! Whilst accepting myself, something funny happened & from that place of acceptence came respect and care, which has resulted in me losing 30kg. I have ‘rested’ here since before Christmas, getting used to a smaller me & am now ready to get going on the next 35kg! I reckon I am up for learning to run now, thanks Shauna

  41. In the last year I have passed my driving test (6 years of learning, six tests, countless thousands spent trying to do it) which was an amazing feeling!

    I also started my teaching course to be an adult literacy teacher which is both very hard and very rewarding but VERY liberating after so many years working in retail!

  42. The best thing that happened to me this year was moving into a one bedroom apartment (a first!) in a nice new neighborhood that just so happens to cut my commute in half. Woot!

  43. Wow! I just found your blog. Very inspirational. I just started a weight loss blog too and would love it if you would check it out. I need more readers to hold me accountable!

  44. The best thing that happened to me last year was finishing my university degree and finally get started with life. I’m also proud for not giving up on my weight loss journey and although I have hit a rough patch this week, 2011 was rather successful.

  45. The best thing that happened…. the first thing that comes to mind is roller derby. It wasn’t new to my life last year, but I didn’t give up on it last year when I was really tempted to, and that’s a win!

  46. The best thing that happened last year was moving closer to my friends and family! And finally getting my toddler to sleep through the night!! πŸ™‚

  47. Getting over some past baggage and making some great new friends! I would love to do the 10K course, i need a goal this year!

  48. The best thing this year has been getting back on the Weight Watchers horse – and properly committing to trying to get my act together! But the exercise part of that has been lagging behind. Here’s hoping U&R can help that a bit…

  49. The best thing that happened to me in 2011 is that I survived 2011! I had a lot of personal drama over the year but managed to come out triumphant and 2012 has been off to a great start!!

  50. The best thing that happened was that I rediscovered downhill skiing and how wonderful it feels to have a strong body that can do things.

  51. Best thing that happened to me was that I got a great job and moved to London from the US. A dream come true made even better by the fact I live next door to my sister, brother-in-law and adorable baby niece. Life is pretty awesome.

  52. In the past year my good friends from Scotland came and visited me in the states. They had not been across for 19 years. For the first time my children got to meet two people who are so important to me, my house was clean and my menus were planned all at the same time. Why do I only get clean and organized for international guests?!

  53. The best thing? 2011? hmmm a blur really – survived daily life; Mother of 2, wife, friend, employee, netball coach, school stuff, creche stuff, sister, daughter, aunty…. maybe 2011 saw me start on ‘THAT’ journey… asking where do ‘I’ fit in?… Its my life – only got one – need to make it count… (not that I have actually DONE anything yet – but thinking about it counts right?)

  54. The best thing that happened to me (or rather, that I made happen) in the last year was getting both my knees surgerised. In hindsight I should have done them both at the same time, instead of six months apart, but being able to walk again without pain has made a world of difference. So now I can walk, maybe running is next?

  55. Yup, it was possible πŸ˜€
    Thanks to it being a totally awesome course. I second Bella’s comment – if you don’t win the place, sign up anyway!

  56. I can gift a friend!!! Woohoo!

    The best thing for me last year was respecting myself. I got serious about my weight and exercise and I did the 5K course and loved it. I changed jobs and am so much happier at work. I decided to start studying to really get a career change and the course starts in two weeks.

  57. I climbed the Great Wall of China. An amazing tourism goal and physical goal ticked off in one (thousand) easy steps!

  58. I would love a go. I don’t seem to be able to get my groove on!

    Oh, the best thing that happened to me in the last year? Erk, that is hard – you know I can’t think of a single thing. I shall go and sit in the corner and ponder, but I should probably sign up for one of your courses anyway if I can’t think of any good things that happened in 2011! Wah!

  59. Best thing that happened to me was starting a teacher training course to teach High School Biology. After 30 years of drifting, I finally feel like I’m doing what I’m supposed to….

  60. I am not particularly vain, valuing health and well being above all else. However, I grieved for the loss of my eyebrows that had progressively fallen out due to a hormone problem (and annoyingly from the middle). The best thing that happened to me last year was having them tattooed back on and my face returned to a level of animation I had begun to forget. Being a teacher I need the Roger Moore technique to maintain order! I am amazed at how the experience lifted me. ;o)

  61. Hey!

    I should say the best thing to happen to me was getting a job, but the best thing is probably that I learnt to play the ukulele!!

    sad but true

  62. Hi there…the best thing that has happened for me in the past year has been watching my wee boy grow up…he is now 2 years old and is amazing, fun, bright and a challenge!! I just joined the gym to lose my baby fat (2 years on…woops!)…I ran for the first time in years on the treadmill the other night and it felt hideous and brilliant all in one go!! I Love your blog and feel very inspired by it!!

  63. I qualified, and started working in, my chosen field of landscape and garden design. And I got a class prize at college graduation πŸ™‚

  64. Hooray! I was really, really hoping this prize would be offered during the birthday sellout. I keep thinking about joining the course and then talking myself out of it, mainly because of the $ (I’m a poor grad student). As far as the best thing that happened to me in the past year, that’s a tough one, because it’s been a great year. Probably the best in a life-changing way was adopting a rescued greyhound. It’s changed my relationship with my boyfriend in a good way — we are closer and work well as a “family.” Plus I’ve met a lot of great new people through the rescue organization. And then of course there’s the dog himself — such a fun and lovable character! Plus, greyhounds come off the track with no stamina whatsoever (they are sprinters) and I’m slowly trying to get back into running, so we are having fun slowly jogging around and increasing our fitness together. πŸ™‚

  65. I wasn’t going to enter this when I saw the post at first a few days ago, because I kind of wonder how I could even think of trying to run a 5k at 254 pounds. But I realise that’s silly.

    Oh, and the best thing that’s happened to me this year is to finally start giving the weight loss my all and getting from 301 to 254 as of this morning! πŸ™‚ x

  66. No need to enter me Shauny, but can I say how much the new site ROCKS?! Great job ladies!! πŸ™‚

    Many highlights over the last year, but the London Marathon was probably the best moment. Running is the most transformative, empowering sport I know xx

  67. The best thing that happened to me this year was the realization that pouring my heart and soul out to a trusted professional (psychologist) did not make me weak or crazy, it made me strong, determined and willing to bring out the very best of who I am. Facing my demons and conquering them has made me a much better person.

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