KEEPING your mind and body active is as easy as ABC thanks to Northwich and Winsford running group Run Forest Run, writes Gemma Sproston.

Established around three years ago, the group which is organised by Nik Griffiths, Nic Kay and Christine Holmes would usually meet up at Delamere Forest. However, in the current climate they’ve had to be a little more creative to ensure their 100-plus members still get their ‘therapy’ fix, so have introduced an alphabet themed challenge to ensure regulars will lace up their trainers and head out for a run.

Nic explained: “We usually run three or four times a week together but due to lockdown we’ve obviously not been able to. As many of the members call our runs therapy it’s not great that we’ve not been able to run together.

“So, to keep on top of our mental health and physical wellbeing and to help keep people motivated to get out and enjoy their daily exercise we’ve been doing a virtual challenge on our Facebook page.

Northwich Guardian:

Nic Kay

“Our members have been drawn into teams of four and are all mixed abilities, from newbies to ultra-runners. We have all come up with our own individual weekly mileage target which can be completed by running, walking or cycling so anyone can get involved, this is then added to a ‘Team Total’ for the week.

“To add to the challenge, and the fun, each day has a letter of the alphabet allocated to it.”

During their run, walk or cycle members have to take a selfie or photo with something that either begins with or is an interpretation of that day's letter.

Northwich Guardian:

For the letter 'K', James Galt karate kicks Kingswood Walk

Northwich Guardian:

For the letter 'G', Nik Griffiths sits among the garlic

Northwich Guardian:

For the letter 'J', Christine Holmes is the ‘jumping Jack' in Jack Lane

In the first week of the challenge the teams collectively walked, ran or cycled 1,316 miles and discovered alpacas, a barge called Bees Knees, a cockerel at a caravan, Delta Daisy the calf, England flags, a ‘freaky flower power’ scarecrow and a giraffe.

Nic added: “Not only has this encouraged people to get out and about, some even getting their kids involved – it’s also encouraged them to not take the running too seriously, to think outside of the box, and take in their surroundings, as well as creating new running routes, and finding fun facts about their local area.”