A MOTHER-of-three who decided to set up a running group has been overwhelmed by the response after more than 200 members joined.

When Aimi Barton set up the community running group The Prestwich Plodders on Facebook, she had no idea the effect she would have on other women in the area.

Ms Barton, from Prestwich, who has always run herself, said she acknowledged how difficult it can be to get started so wanted to create a group where women could share similar experiences and gain motivation from one another.

She said: “I don’t think I am being dramatic when I say that I think running changed my life. After being stuck in a cycle of faddy diets and generally feeling horrible about myself, I decided to give running a go.

“Taking those first few steps was easy.

“Then I ran. I ran to the gates of the park and never wanted to do it again.

“Going back and doing it again was one of the hardest things I have ever done.

“I worried about the fact I was slow, I worried about the fact I was rubbish and I thought everyone was laughing at me.

“We started The Prestwich Plodders because I’d heard about so many women with similar experiences who didn’t go back.

“Sometimes a bit of support and knowing that you’re not alone is all it takes.

“I also hear many women say ‘oh I could never run’, but anyone can run.

“Hopefully the group will help women realise that that’s the truth.”

To join the group, search The Prestwich Plodders on Facebook.