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The Barge Arse Runner - Allie Pugh's #ChasingFitnessStory

September 11, 2016 3 Comments

“So. What makes someone think...”I want to start running”...what motivates us? Mine was stark realisation, I’m afraid.
Not once, but twice in one day, I was mistaken for a man. Not only a man, but a vicar. Well, curate to be exact.  A long hard look in a full length mirror told me the grim truth.  I was 44, I had short hair, dreadful dress sense, and the body of malformed lard.
My very good friend Emma had been running for years, and I thought that something HAD to be done, so one Sunday afternoon in June 2011, I donned a very makeshift running outfit, which consisted of my husband’s sweatshirt, a pair of cheap trainers, and some leggings with holes in. As I ventured out the door, I felt that all eyes of our quiet little Shropshire village were upon me.  I made it to the next village, only two miles away in 45 minutes, probably looking for all the world like Bambi on ice.  My husband was up ahead on the bike shouting encouragement at regular intervals.  Despite feeling extremely self conscious and cumbersome, I was hooked.
Four months later, on 9th October 2011, our lives were turned completely upside down. My mother, a very fit and active 80 year old, had a small stroke.  Within hours she had suffered a major brain stem stroke which rendered her as helpless as a new born baby.  The next few years were catastrophic for us all.
You can never really imagine what that sort of life changing incident will do to you, until it happens, but I am a great believer in out of something bad, comes something good.  Every day was a massive struggle for us, and at times, it was unbearably hard, but still I ran. Sometimes three or four times a week.  Having suffered from depression for many years, running had given me “my cure”.  The feeling running gave me, was peace, complete equilibrium. The more I did, the more I wanted to do.
I bought magazines, books out of the library on running, and most importantly, got THE RIGHT KIT.
Mum continued to deteriorate, then plateaued, but the proud, fit 80 year old lady I once knew and loved was gone. Never to return.  The thing about strokes is, that you feel very helpless, and there is little you can do, apart from worry, and love them.  So in the same month, I entered my first 5k run for the Stroke Association and raised £250.  It was an amazing day, and I felt an incredible sense of achievement, that I was actually doing something positive to HELP.  Mum held my medal in her hands the following day.  She was then, unable to speak, walk or do anything for herself.  The day of her first stroke she had been picking blackberries with my Dad and chatting.  I wish I could bottle that day, and lift the lid on it when I want to see my mum again.
So, my motivation continues, two years since my Mum passed away, and I’m still running, not because I need to, but because I want to.  I wouldn’t say I’m the best runner in the world, and Mo Farrah has absolutely nothing to worry about, but my passion continues, and I’m now training for my 5th consecutive Stroke run, which is on 9th October at the very beautiful Trentham Gardens in Staffordshire.  My little treat at the finish line is a hazelnut latte, but I think I’ll deserve it.
At Jordan Joseph we are thrilled to have Allie blogging for us. If you have any questions for her, please comment below. Be sure to tune in every week for the latest in the 'Barge Arse Runner' blog series right here on  

3 Responses


September 17, 2016

Thankyou Miles, and Alastair for your very kind comments, my main aim is to get people motivated to get out there and run, it really can and does turn your life around.


September 13, 2016

Sounds like we have much in common. I’m not a natural runner but was persuaded, although more probably coerced, into running a marathon. 11 months of toil, changing my diet and building up the miles in my legs, I managed to complete the New York Marathon. An incredible experience and so rewarding as I raised money for a charity very dear to me. Go Allie go….


September 11, 2016

An inspiring blog written by someone who has been there…… Excellent!!!! As someone who has done numerous runs for charity, I can relate to every word

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