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Coach - Athlete Relationships are the best!

It's a long time since we've posted a blog, but this is a really special testimonial from a Smiler who has been coached by Kate since 2016, back when it all began.

Alan wrote this beautiful piece of reflection that really shows what the coach-athlete relationship has been all about.

We can't thank Alan enough for putting this on paper, and we wish him all the luck and happiness in the world.


Alan's Story

24.36 5km, 51:27 10km, 1:51:21 Half, 3:55.57 Marathon, several sprint Triathlons, 1 Olympic, 1 amazing middle distance, swimming and breathing at the same time! outdoor swimming and countless 5kms & 10kms, 3 Marathons including LONDON!!! numerous sportives and fun sports.

All of theses are what I have achieved while working with Kate on and off since 2016, with what are some great times for me.

The above are only numbers, facts and medals, they do not even begin to show the constant support, encouragement, planning and re planning when necessary that Kate has given me.

As every sports person will know the one thing you cannot do is expect things to go to plan. There will undoubtably be obstacles that prevent you from working to your plan. This is as true for a couch to a 5km runner as it is to Paula Ratcliff.

This is where Kate comes into her own.

Having run 3 marathons while working with Kate and every time I have had injuries in my training that have needed rest or physio. Kate’s ability to put you at ease and re-schedule your plan is simply remarkable. I believe that sport is as much mental ability as physical and Kate helps you believe in yourself and to overcome. She will find a positive in any situation.

And then there is the really unexpected!! In 2021 I was fortunate to have got a place in the LONDON MARATHON! Through a place from Manchester Triathlon Club.

The unfortunate thing was I had not run for a long while because of a hip issue and we only had a sort time before race day. Fortunately, I had been training for a 5km swim so my fitness was there. Baby steps I think would best describe the start of our training. With Kate’s planning and many visits to the physio we where soon into the groove of things. At the start I had hoped for a sub-4-hour race but it soon became apparent that a 4.30 was more realistic with the amount of time we had left to train.

As you can see London was ran. I can honestly say this was the best race I have been in and the emotions on the day where truly amazing.

I am now at a time in my life where my priorities have changed. I want to watch my Grandson play Rugby on a Sunday morning and not go for a 5-hour ride or a 2-hour run. And with 3 Granddaughters as well to keep me busy I feel the time has come to cut back on my training. And I do believe that for the moment I have fulfilled my Athletic Goals with Kate’s help. This is not to say I will not race again because I love racing and all the good vibes you get from the people around you, its just that I will be cutting back the time I spend training and spending more time with my growing family.

After speaking to Kate some weeks ago I decided that my last race with Kate as my Coach would be the Manchester Half Marathon on Sunday the 22nd of May 2022. I smiled all the way around.

Kate Offord, I feel blessed that I have been able to spend this much time working with such an amazing Coach and person.

The confidence you have in me, and the confidence you have instilled in me is very much treasured in my heart.

You are truly 1 in a million.

As you as can see from the photos I am and always will be one of Kate’s Smilers.

Thank you, Kate,

You have been amazing.

Alan Leonard



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