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Melanie Hooper, new Vice President Education at Chester Students’ Union; Theresa Robberts; and Frederick Newberry from the University’s Running Club.

Theresa Robberts, who is originally from South Africa, will be completing her 100th Parkrun on Saturday, May 11 in Chester.

Theresa studied for her Master’s online with the WBIS (Worked Based and Integrative Studies) team within the University’s Business School. Her focus of study was in Project Leadership and Design. She has relocated to Chester and is currently studying for her PhD in the University’s Business Research Institute. She has been taking part in running events for the last five years – with, in her own words –“3% sight, yet 97% attitude!”.

She explains more: “Three things stand in my way of doing a Parkrun on a Saturday morning. I have only 3% sight, but, as friends and family would testify, I am stubborn. As soon as someone says: ‘You can't do that', I resolve to do it!

“Secondly, I am no athlete. I struggle with my weight, and I have had several operations over the past five years. Hence why it took me five and not two years to get to this milestone. After each Parkrun, my face turns into a kaleidoscope of pink blotches, and I can only handle conversations after my post-run coffee.

“The third reason is one that many would not talk about. I suffer from severe anxiety and depression. I know I’m not the only one. Parkrun places a significant part in managing my mental health. I believe this is not only because of the physical exercise but the support and camaraderie at each event. No matter which Parkrun, across the globe, you choose to join, you will always, always be welcome.”

Theresa is keen for as many people as possible to join her to celebrate her parkrun centenary on the day. It starts at 9am just across the road from The Little Owl Pub, on Cousens Way, opposite the entrance to Countess Court. Full details can be found on the Parkrun website. 

To celebrate her achievement, Theresa will be hosting a tea party in aid of Guide Dogs (UK) after the run, at the Little Owl pub. Tea and coffee will be available and guests are encouraged to bring cakes and treats. People can donate on the day.

Rebecca Greatbatch, Club Captain of the University’s Running Club, said: “We are very proud to have Theresa as a member of our running club and to be able to support her on her quest to her 100th Parkrun.  Her fierce determination is inspiring and really captures the essence of Parkrun as well as the ethos of the Club.  We really look forward to the event and hope that anyone else who is able to support will pop along for a bit too, whether that be to the Parkrun itself or to the Guide Dogs tea party afterwards.”

Theresa is also taking part in an online fundraiser in aid of Guide Dogs (UK) called Walk Your Socks Off. The challenge is to complete 100,000 steps in one week. More information about Theresa’s fundraiser can be found on her JustGiving page.

Visit the Walk Your Socks Off website for more information and find out more about the Great Guide Dogs Summer Tea Party online.

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