Hard Yards Running Club

Running Hand in Hand For Mental Wellbeing Since 2018.

History & formation – Back in 2017, Will and Harriet, both NHS mental health nurses, were given some funding through their employer, The NHS, to trial running for mental health programmes in the community. There is wide ranging academic evidence that shows physical activity has significant positive impacts on mental wellbeing and those of us who attended the first few Couch to 5K programmes certainly felt these benefits. However, the NHS funding came to an end. By this time a number of us were reaping the benefits of the group and did not want it end. And from here Hard Yard Running Club was established.

6 years on and were still going strong. We’ve had numerous Couch to 5K groups and our membership has continued to grow, even Covid couldn’t stop us. Friendships have been made and peoples lives have been changed for the better.



Hard Yards ParkRun Tourists

Manchester 10K

26th May 2024

Mags, Pat, San, Rose and Harriet waiting to start.

Mags, Rose, San and Pat, finishing and happy at beating the forecast rain. Harriet finished earlier and had to leave. Well done everyone.

This is what we all ran for.

Hard Yards On Tour, Queens Parkrun Belfast April 27th April.

A few of our members decided to go over to Belfast to try a different Parkrun and they weren’t disappointed. They had a fabulous weekend, enjoying what they said was the friendliest Parkrun yet.

Thanks very much Queens Parkrun.

Friday night and we are in training for Saturday morning.
Rose looks pleased with herself. Well done Rose.
Front Row. Liz, Ann, Rose, Karen. Back Row. Helen, Pat, San, Charlotte.

A special mention to Karen, who not only volunteered, but completed Queens Parkrun, not even 2 weeks after having surgery. Karen wasn’t even sure she was going to make the trip, let alone complete the run. Everyone at Hard Yards is so proud of her. Well done Karen.

Ann and Rose
Liz and Charlotte are loving it

Pat and Sandra met up again with Bobby, who they first met in Berlin, in January 2023. Bobby recognised Pat and Sandra by their Hard Yards shirts. Bobby went on to give Pat his prised Belfast finishers shirt, that he received in 2019 as a memento of their trip to Belfast.

Thanks very much Bobby.

Thanks very much to all the volunteers and runners at Queens Parkrun, Belfast.

Where next Hard Yarders ?

Manchester Marathon Relay 14th April 2024.

Hard Yards entered 2 teams of 4 in the Manchester Marathon. The weather was perfect and a great day was had by all.

Helen ready for the big day.
San and Pat at the start
Pat and San first to finish their legs
Ben and Helen waiting for Pat and San, to start the second leg.
Mags and Sam after finishing their leg.
Jamie running the 15 miles in training for Berlin.

Hard Yards Running Club.

Mags, Harriet, Pat, Rose, San and Sam with their finishers medals.

Four people missing off the the above picture, Claire Reekie and Helen Wood, who both disappeared before we had a chance to take their pictures.

Also missing was special guest Ben Turner and his mum Karen, Ben stepped in at the last minute for his mum Karen, who had an operation the same week, so couldn’t run. Thanks very much Ben and get well soon Karen.

Karen is very important and popular member of Hard Yards, she very rarely misses a Tuesday or Saturday run with the group.

That’s whats it’s all been for. A finishers tee shirt and medal.

Finally, we wanted to highlight Richard Turner. Richard isn’t a member of Hard Yards, but his wife Karen is. She has recently been diagnosed with breast cancer, so Richard wanted to run this years Marathon for Cancer Research UK.

Richard is an excellent runner who also wanted to join an elite group of athletes, completing a marathon in under 3 hours.


Congratulations to Richard, who not only broke three hours for a marathon, but also raised £3,217 inclusive of gift aid. Well done Richard!

Spring 2024 Couch to 5K graduation.

On 23rd March 2024, Hard Yards latest recruits completed their Couch to 5K. In 9 short weeks they have gone from struggling to run for more than one minute, to running for 5K. What an achievement.

Most of the new group were able to make it to Stretford Parkrun to celebrate with their first full Parkrun.

Well done everyone…..

Hard Yards on Tour. 23 March 2024

Sandra & Pat at Toyen Parkrun, Oslo, Norway.

Pat and Sandra before completing Toyen Parkrun in Oslo. Both Pat and Sandra agreed that it was cold and very hilly. 4 and half laps with 2 large hills on each lap, but both said they were glad they did it.

Trafford 10k 3rd March 2024

Hard Yards First 10K of 2024.

Hard Yards completed their first 10K of 2024 and had a record number of entries, some of which are pictured below. It was perfect running conditions, cold, but dry.

Well done everyone and roll on April, when some of us will be completing the Manchester Marathon Relay.

Join Us On A New Couch to 5K course.

Struggling with your mental health?
Would you like to improve your fitness and feel better about yourself?

Tuesday 16th January 2024 Stretford Public Hall

Hard Yards have an ongoing couch to 5k course, the course is free and open to everyone. We welcome people of all abilities and fitness levels, you don’t need any fancy gear or previous experience of running or exercise.
Just you and a pair of trainers.
Successfully trialled by the NHS, Hard Yards Running Club was established in Stretford in 2018 to combat poor mental health and encourage exercise in a safe and welcoming environment. We use physical activity, peer support and social engagement to help individuals manage their mental health and make positive changes to their lives.
If you are unsure about anything, please get in touch to discuss further.
We meet every Tuesday evening between 7 and 9 at Stretford Public Hall.

To discuss further, email [email protected], call 07933 623253.

Happy 6th Birthday to Hard Yards Running Club.

9th January 2024 marks the 6th birthday of Hard Yards Running Club. We have seen our club grow in that time from a handful of people to over a hundred people through our Couch to 5 K programmes. We survived Lockdown and Covid and came back stronger than ever.

We continue to look forward to helping more people with anxiety and depression and making a real difference in peoples lives.

Many happy returns Hard Yards.

Happy New Year from everyone at Hard Yards Running Club.

Hard Yards is saying goodbye to 2023 and looking forward to 2024. 2023 was a special year with new members joining us and old members coming back. We had successful couch to 5K programmes, we had members running Parkrun’s all over the UK, Europe and countless 10K’s. We even had a few half marathons and marathons.

Who knows what we will achieve this year. We can only hope it’s half as good as last year.

Christmas Day 2023. Delamere Forrest

A real family affair. Alex, Harriet’s partner, Andrew, her Dad and Harriet, at Delamere Forrest Parkrun.

Christmas Day Parkrun 2023. Alexandra Park.

Back row. Jamie, Pat, Lizzie.

Front row. Finn and his mum Mag’s, Karen, Sandra, Gripper, Kamilla and Charlotte.

Congratulations on 100 Parkruns Harriet.

Congratulations to Harriet, who completed her 100th Parkrun at Alexandra Park on 23rd December. It’s been a while coming. Harriet said, “I would have completed it much sooner, if it wasn’t for the fact that Parkrun is always held on a Saturday morning and I have been known to go out on the odd Friday night.” Her partner Alex, told us, she prefers watching Gogglebox on a Friday night now to going out.

Well done Harriet, we are all proud of you.

Cologne, Christmas Markets , Gluhwein and a Parkrun.

Sandra & Pat continue the Hard Yards 2023 European tour and complete the Cologne Rheinpark Parkrun.

Wilmslow 10K 26th November 2023.

Several members of Hard Yards ran the Wilmslow 10K in one of the coldest days of the year, which can be seen in their attire before the race. Karen recommended plastic bin bags and they were a big hit. New Hard Yards Bin Bags on order…

Karen, Pat and Sandra with the new Hard Yards Bin Bags. Mags and Kamila’s are on order for the next run.

Sue, special guest from Spain Marta, Kamila, Mags, San, Pat and Karen. Missing from the picture Harriet and Moyra, who also completed the run. Well done everyone

Three different Parkruns for Hard Yarders on the 11th November.

What a beautiful day for a run.

Helen on tour in Edinburgh.
Alexandra Park
Alexandra Park
Longford Park

Manchester Half Marathon.

15th October 2023.

Harriet, Sam and Charlotte completed the Manchester Half Marathon. Charlotte and Harriet managed to get personal best times and Sam, only just missed out on one.

A few of the Hard Yards Crew turned out to support everyone and ended up running some of the route with Charlotte for support.

A massive well done to Sam,Harriet, Charlotte and everyone who turned out to cheer them on.

Charlotte, Harriet and Sam waiting to start their run.

Mags, Charlotte Sandra, Pat and Kamila not far from the end and Charlotte looks as fresh as a daisy.

I’ve finished and feel great. Well done Charlotte, looking fantastic after knocking 6 minutes off your previous best time.

Fantastic, next the Manchester Marathon in April. Go Charlotte.

Knutsford 10K, 1st October.

Some of Hard Yards with Charlotte and Sam. Unfortunately Harriet had to leave before we could take some pictures with her.

We caught up with Harriet on the following Saturday at Alexandra Park Parkrun with her finisher’s medal.

Well done Harriet.

A busy month for Hard Yards.

Knutsford 10K, 1st October.

Mags and Pat finished three 10K’s in 3 weeks. Sandra and Jess 2 in 2 weeks and Harriet and Charlotte 2 in 3 weeks. Helen and Karen also managed to get a 10K done. Well done Hard Yarders.

Sandra also managed to get a new personal best time.

Knutsford 10K 1st October,

Warrington 10K 24th September

Mags and Pat completed their second 10K in 2 weeks. Sandra and Jess completed their first 10K.

That was another tough one. Somehow they managed to sneak a really big hill in there. Lets hope next week is better.

Altrincham 10K. 17th September 2023.

Hard Yarders take on the first of three 10K runs over September and October. Altrincham, Warrington and Knutsford. They said Altrincham was flat, but I’m not sure.

A special mention to the following runners.

Kamila, who ran her very first 10K. Well done and Charlotte, who achieved a personal best time, both of these were on one of the toughest courses we have ran. Well done ladies.

They said it was flat.

Harriet, Kamila, Pat, Mag’s, Charlotte and Sam.

Charlotte, with a personal best time and Kamila, making her debut in a 10K run. Well done ladies!

Hard Yards 2023.

A summer on the Run.

Hard Yards certainly got around this summer. We managed to cram in Parkruns allover the UK as well as Europe. Below is just a taste of where our members got to.

Wilmslow 10K 9th July 2023.

Some of Hard Yards completed the Wilmslow 10K in scorching summer temperatures. Well done to everyone, but a special mention goes out to Rose who has completed her 20th 10K.

Mags crossing the line still with a smile on her face.
Phew, that was a tough one. Well done Karen.
Alice and Charlotte crossing the line together. Well done to both of you, especially Alice who has a knee injury.

Alice, Rose, Jess, Mags, Charlotte and Karen all showing off their medals.

Well done everyone.

20 10K’s for Rose.

Well done Rose.

Hard Yards make it to Holland.

Hard Yards continued with it’s European tour. This weekend it’s Zuiderpark in Holland. Well done Charlotte, Mags, Liz, Alice, Karen, Harriet and Helen.

Hard Yards on Tour. Delamere Forest, Parkrun 27 May.

Six members of Hard Yards took part in Delamere Forest’s Parkrun. Everyone agreed that it was extremely tough with some of the toughest terrain and heat yet, but the scenery was breathtaking. Well worth getting up early for.

Special thanks to Andrew Burgess, club member Harriet’s dad for meeting us and showing us around. Andrew is a regular at Delamere, and has supported Hard Yards over the past 5 years in many ways.

Next stop Holland for some of the group. Go Hardyarders.

Manchester 10K & Half Marathon 21May 2023.

Several members of Hard Yards took part in the 20th Manchester 10K and Mark did the half marathon. The sun was shining and the temperature was into the 20’s. Everyone agreed it was one of the toughest they had ever done, but it was so worthwhile when completed.

Well done everyone involved.

New Couch to 5K. 18th April 7pm Stretford Public Hall.

If you want to sign up or know more about our group, email us at [email protected] or call 07933 623253 for further information.

What Is Couch To 5K and Why Is It So Popular?

The Couch to 5K (often shortened to ‘C25K) program is a free running plan designed to get people from a complete running newbie sitting on their couch to finishing their first 5K race in as little as 9 weeks.

It was originally created by an American named Josh Clark in the 1990s. He was looking to create a program to help his mum take up running.

In 1996, he created the ‘Couch to 5K’ plan and shared it on his website. In the mid-2000s, word of its advantages and successes spread, and its popularity began to soar.

It is now believed that over 10 million runners have used it, and you can find many different versions of the original 9-week plan online, either on apps or websites. It works really well, to the point that even UK’s National Health Service (NHS) has taken note and made it an official exercise plan.

The original Couch to 5K plan, as well as the NHS Couch to 5K plan, takes 9 weeks to train for.

Hard Yards run the Trafford 10K in Partington 5th March 2023.

Everyone looking happy to start the race, apart from Pat. Whats up with old misery guts?
Liz and Charlotte really enjoying their morning run.
First 2 finishers for Hard Yards and no wonder Mark looks happy, he’s just got himself a Personal Best.
Well done ladies and another Personal Best time for Charlotte.
Helen sprinting to the finish line with a smile on her face.
What a morning 11 runners and 4 Personal Best times for Charlotte, Karen, Mark and Pat. Vicki did her first ever 10K. Well done to everyone. Thanks to Sandra for her support and camera skills.

Next race for Hard Yards is the Manchester Marathon on 16th April, when we will have 9 runners out in the field.

Hard Yards Volunteer Takeover at Stretford Parkrun.

Hard Yards took over all volunteering duties on Saturday 28th January at Streford Parkrun.

During the five year history of Hard Yards, Stretford Parkrun has played a massive part of our club. They have encouraged and welcomed us every step of the way. Without doubt Hard Yards would have fell by the wayside if it were not for Stretford Parkrun and everyone involved with them.

It was a pleasure for our group to help out on Saturday and we look forward to doing so again in the near future.

New Couch to 5k started 6th September 2022.

Graduated 12th November 2022.

Well done to the class of 2022.

Hard Yards graduated at Stretford Parkrun and this is what they had to say about us. Thank you Stretford Parkrun.

A new couch to 5K with Hard Yards Running Club started on 6th September, 7pm at Stretford Public Hall. 

Hard Yards has started its latest couch to 5K course which is open to all got off to a flying start. The weather may have been bad, but everyone enjoyed the night. Everyone is now looking forward to next weeks run, chat, brew and Rose’s and Sandra’s cakes.

If you fancy joining us see our contact details below.

No fancy equipment required, only you a pair of trainers.

November 12th is graduation day at Stretford Parkrun.

Hard Yards Running Club is proud to announce that the latest group of runners will graduate from the couch to running 5 K at 9 am on Saturday 12th November. Everyone has worked so hard, in all kinds of weather. Everyone should be extremely proud of themselves and can now call themselves runners.

Have a look at a few pictures from the past few weeks and see just how far our group has come,

Roll on November 12th
Alice, Charlotte, Liz and Vicki on week 2
Treza on her Sunday run, week 1

18th October 2022. Week 7 run1 and our new group is till going strong.

Week 7 Run 1. Only 2 weeks to go!
Week 4, Run 1. Everyone still going strong. Not long and we will all be running 5K
Our new group enjoying a well earned brew and slice of cake with some of our regulars.

To register please email us, with your contact details.

[email protected] or call 07933 623253 for further information.

Running hand in hand for mental wellbeing