The mother-of-two was a former Leigh Harrier so knew her way round a pair of running shoes.
She was joined by two friends on what was to become a momentous first run around Pennington Flash.
And as they ran, like a scene from the film Forrest Gump, they were joined by others along the way. And they’ve continued to flock to Sarah’s side ever since.
Today Sarah, who hails from Pennington, is at the helm of her very own running club which boasts in excess of 50 members. The ‘Leg It’ Running Club meets twice a week to take ladies of all ages and abilities through their paces.
Sarah, 39, says: “After that first run I decided to take it further so I advertised in my local area to see if anyone was interested. The response was amazing and through the adverts and word of mouth alone I now have around 50 ladies running each week… sometimes 70.”
Sarah was not only a serious runner at one time but she also used to coach for the Leigh Harriers. She has divided the group up into walkers, joggers and runners, so there’s something to suit everyone.
“Our youngest member is 14 and we have ladies who are in their 60s,” says Sarah. “We new mums and mums-to-be, ladies wanting to lose weight, ladies who want to run the Race for Life events and some who just enjoy the social side. I see their confidence grow each week, their bodies change and they make new friends.”
Through their regular Monday and Thursday evening meetings, the group has earned the nicknames the ‘running pub’ and because there’s a lot of them dressed in pink, running together – the Flamingos!
Wigan Council’s Cabinet Member for Leisure, Cllr Chris Ready, is full of praise for Sarah’s and the club’s efforts.
“At its heart this running club is a great example of what people can achieve when they have a good idea and the spirit of determination to see it through,” says Cllr Ready. “It’s clear that it has not only helped to improve the health of the individual members but it has helped create a greater sense of community spirit and the real beauty is that it has been done without any outside help.
“We wish the Leg It group continued success and we’d love to see more people following this fantastic example and creating their own interest groups.”
Sarah has members who will be running marathons, half-marathons and 10k events this year – there really is no stopping them!
“The great thing about it is that anyone can run,” says Sarah.
“You just need trainers and a bit of motivation.
“Start slow with a walk then jog from lamp-post to lamp-post… six or seven of these and you’ll have done a mile.”
She adds: “The pleasure I get from running is only beaten by the joy of seeing a lady who has struggled to jog for three minutes, run for half an hour… and chat and laugh all the way round!”
The Leg It Running Club meets every Monday and Thursday. Beginners set off at 6.20pm, intermediates begin at 7pm and the five mile runners go at 7.45pm. Ladies who would like more information can call Sarah on 01942 670510 or 07824 757479.