Running Coach Linda Clarke is a strong advocate for Beginner Runners and their potential
New running coach Linda Clarke has her sights on infusing beginner runners with the skills to achieve the pace and physique needed to participate in any level of racing, in the connective environment of the Run Naturally 242 Run Group. In 2013, Linda found her passion for the sport through fitness boot camps held in Freeport, where running became an integral part of the program to meet their goals. Fueled by her admiration for the sport, Linda ran in the Marathon Bahamas race in 2014 and continued a series of races (seven half marathons and three full marathons) with international inclusions such as Orlando in 2017, Minnesota in 2018, as well as Miami and Detroit in 2019.
This year, Linda will be running in Chicago and while also returning to previous racing events in the USA (mainly Miami and Detroit). Although Linda had an individual dedication to running, it was the unique community she found at the international events that forged her connection to it even more. These events were often filled with scores of international and local runners united by a common attraction and seeking only to spread motivation and love for the sport. “There is such excitement!” Linda said, “Strangers will walk up to you, encourage and congratulate you because you are a part of the community. It’s very supportive and the events are catered to the runners.” Within these groups, Linda has also found strong friendships derived from genuine support and has grown beyond the racing routes and into lifelong connections. A story she often reflects on is when her leg locked at mile 12 of a race, and her friend (and fellow runner) came to her and they ran the final leg together – injury and all. This example is one of the ways running groups dispel the popular belief that running is a selfish sport when truthfully, you can have a team of support every step of the way.
Conclusively, it was the advice of Karen, a friend, and runner whom she was training with, that sealed her role as a running coach. Karen had appreciated Linda’s guidance and encouragement throughout the training, which had greatly helped her in completing her Marathon in Chicago, and in turn, she encouraged Linda to coach. It was also Linda’s strong encouragement and devotion to never leaving a runner behind that truly stood out, as it is commonly observed in running for the coach to sprint ahead and leave the remainder of the group in the background. This created a spark in Linda and fire emerged. Combining the concepts of comradery, sportsmanship, and stretching beyond your limits – the ‘Run Naturally 242’ Run group was formed on November 19, 2019. Focused on beginners, this group helps them to become more comfortable with running as well as building a love and endurance for the sport. “People say that the running community in the Bahamas is small, often seeing the same faces at events; however, there are more people who want to run but they need to know how, and are seeking the skills to help them do so.” Through Linda’s coaching, Run Naturally 242 is here to provide the guidance and one-on-one attention needed to learn and hone those skills, no matter your fitness level or body type. “It’s about removing the tense and competitive edge surrounding running and making it a connective, enjoyable and progressive process with equal opportunity for all. It’s about enjoying the journey. ”
Going into her eighth running year and her first coaching year, Linda advocates for a more positive, equal and open perspective on running, highlighting a perspective that all are welcome and can become runners in their own right. To discover your hidden running potential with the Run Naturally 242 run group, contact Linda at 727-5318 (WhatsApp), inbox on Instagram at @run_naturally or follow on Facebook group. Are you a runner? Share your story on your passion for the sport, how running has changed your life or comment on your latest run below.