Activ8 Health & Fitness member, and 2019 Stockton District Intermediate Schools XC Champion, Bailey Spence recently ran a 5k personal best at Albert Parkrun in Middlesbrough and caught up with us to tell us his story and how his gym membership helped him achieve his recent PB!

“In 2019 aged 15, I began running after watching my older brother run for several years and joined up with his coach Martin Peevor. I really wanted to represent Cleveland in the March 2020 England Schools Cross County final. After several qualifying rounds, I was so happy to make the Cleveland team, becoming Stockton District Champion in the process.

With COVID lockdowns arriving weeks later, I had to train alone for most of 2020, so I tried to stay as fit and fast as possible, hoping events would return for 2021. I was able to compete in 2021, mainly in the 800m. At the U20 North East Championships, I ran a personal best of 2 minutes 2 seconds, collecting a silver medal, which was a great experience.

For 2022, I really wanted to try and run the 800m in under 2 minutes. Unfortunately, this winter has been a running nightmare with injury after injury, so I needed a way to train without running.

I joined the Activ8 Gym at IB Leisure in Ingleby Barwick, which allowed me to use all the cardio and weight facilities to maintain and increase my fitness and it’s paid off! In February I ran a personal best 5k Parkrun at Albert Park in Middlesbrough in 16 minutes 33 seconds, so hopefully all the gym work keeps paying off! The staff have been so helpful, explaining what the equipment is used for and how to use everything properly.”

We loved hearing Bailey’s story and feel inspired to run ourselves! All of us here at Activ8 are behind you Bailey and we can’t wait to see what the future has in store for you – no doubt you’ll run the 800m in under 2 minutes very soon!

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