From Couch to 5k

Ruth O’ Doherty of Sunbeam House Services reports on her successful Couch-to-5k challenge, raising much-needed funds for Wicklow Hospice while getting in shape…


My name is Ruth O’Doherty. I moved from the couch to 5k walk in 3 months. I used to be very unfit, I decided it was time for me to take charge of my health with the support of staff member Siobhan Curran.

We took on the challenge together. I started walking around the Shoreline racetrack in Greystones once a week for the first week. I started by completing one lap in which I was puffing and panting. Over the next 5 weeks, I completed six laps with no puffing or panting.

On week 7 of the challenge I climbed to the top of Delgany Wood. It was tough, and I struggled at times but the following week I completed the walk again and made it to the top without struggling.

Then came the big challenge – could I walk 5k? I was determined to complete the challenge, so I decided to do a charity walk. I chose to complete a 5k walk in aid of Wicklow Hospice. Siobhan Curran supported me to contact the hospice. The charity sent me a sponsorship card and a t-shirt.

My first 5k training was in Druid’s Glen. I completed this walk on several occasions, and each time I completed it I had to stop less and less to catch my breath.

On the 9th of May, I put on my Wicklow Hospice t-shirt with pride and myself and Siobhan headed to Avondale Park in Rathdrum. The sun was shining, and the birds were singing and off I went to complete my 5k challenge. I raised over 100 euro for Wicklow Hospice and will be presenting the money to the fundraising committee next month.

I never thought I could do it but I did.  Everyone should believe in themselves.  I have never felt so good about myself both physically and mentally. I love going to the forest for walks.

“Believe you can and you will”

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