A pensioner who has completed 16 London marathons credits years spent at Dewsbury Sports Centre for keeping her running.
Pat Ainsworth, 67, was a self-confessed ‘couch potato’ before she started circuit training more than 20 years ago.
But since then she has raised £130,000 for good causes by doing marathons and sponsored walks in New York, Peru, China and Nepal, amongst others.
Mrs Ainsworth, a former Fox’s Biscuits employee, said: “It all started when I went to watch my husband play five-a-side at Dewsbury. At the other side of the gym there were some people doing circuit training and I thought ‘I wouldn’t mind having a go at that.’
“My husband just laughed but I’ve been going ever since. It was a life-changing experience – I got the bug.”
Mrs Ainsworth has been attending weekly circuit training – short bursts of resistance exercise using moderate weights and frequent repetitions – for more than 20 years. “I honestly think that if I didn’t do the circuits, I wouldn’t be able to do my marathons,” she added.
She also credits ex-instructor Phil Clarke and current instructor Mo Ali for keeping her motivated and fighting fit. “The trainers are very good – they really get you going,” she added.
Mrs Ainsworth travels to the sessions from Emley with husband Jim, 67. “There’s a bit of competition, but I’m not as quick as I used to be,” she said. “But I want people to realise age isn’t a barrier. It doesn’t mean you’ve got to stop and put your slippers on.”
Mrs Ainsworth also completed the Race for Life at New Hall women’s prison, where she used to work, last Friday.