AN AVID runner is up for an award after she set up a women’s running club to promote confidence and fitness.

Erika Fitzgibbon, of Penarth is a finalist in Chwarae Teg’s Womenspire Awards for the sport category.

The 66-year-old started up Women Running Penarth (WRP) in 2011 after a previous club she had been running for five years folded.

Mrs Fitzgibbon said she wanted to bring together women of all different running abilities and encourage more people to get involved.

“I wanted to offer women of all shapes and sizes a safe and nurturing environment,” said Mrs Fitzgibbon.

“I love seeing our almost 100 members reach their goals, be it running continuously for 45 minutes after one of my beginners courses or completing anything from a 5k to marathon distance races.

“I have been very lucky to have found a lovely group of ladies who have become run leaders, so that WRP can offer sessions from Monday to Thursday evenings as well as on Sunday mornings.

“There have also been social groups formed by our members.”

And not only is the 66-year-old the chairwoman of the group, she has taken part in marathons in Venice, Vienna, Berlin, Boston and the recent London marathon.

Mrs Fitzgibbon also has osteoporosis, but this hasn’t stopped her achieving her goals.

She said: “I joined the club aged 50 and have never looked back; it has helped me run two half marathons, 12 10k's last year and many others, something I never thought I could have achieved and wouldn’t have without being part of the group.

“The club has provided women with a platform from which to achieve whatever success means for them in running terms along with a wonderful sense of camaraderie and ‘family’.”

Womenspire, now in its third year, will take place at the Wales Millennium Centre on June 5.

Women from all walks of life will be honoured in a number of categories including community, sport, education and business.

Louise David from Chwarae Teg said: “Womenspire is an awards ceremony like no other which celebrates the achievements of remarkable women from across Wales.

“We received more than 400 nominations for the various categories so making the shortlist of finalists is a feat in itself.

“It’s a really uplifting and inspiring event, all too often women don’t recognise just how much they have achieved and these awards really showcase and highlight their successes.”

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