Stretch yourself with a five-mile challenge and training sessions to get ready

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Novice runners can take part in free training sessions to prepare them for a five-mile run at the end of June.

The Portsmouth Joggers have organised the Purbrook Ladies Five for more than 20 years and are gearing up for this year’s event on Sunday June 24.

And to make sure those taking part are race-ready, the running club has organised weekly training runs in the lead-up to the big event.

There’s no charge to enter the race, or to take part in the training runs. Instead, people are encouraged to join the Wednesday training sessions and if they want to continue and aim to take part in the race, they can join the club. Annual membership costs £19.50.

Sharon Bryan, from Portsmouth Joggers, says: ‘A lot of people who start with Portsmouth Joggers have this fear. You think “I can’t do this” but they very quickly learn they can.

‘The good thing about this event is that it does attract the fast club runners from across the county, but we also have ladies who want to use it as their first challenge.’

The training sessions start at 6.30pm from the tennis courts off Purbrook Heath Road and runners will complete the race-day course. Men and women can attend, although the race is ladies-only.

Runners must arrive before the 6.30pm start, bring water and wear fluorescent or light-coloured clothes and suitable trainers.

The running club makes a donation to Rowans Hospice each year but runners aren’t asked to raise sponsorship to take part.

‘It’s a challenging course but such a nice route,’ adds Sharon.

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