Mansfield runner feels 'empowered' to manage rare auto immune disease

Claireis a part of Mansfield Runners, who are taking part in mental health charity Minds time to talk campaign, which aims to break down down the stigma associated with mental health by getting people talking about it.
Claireis a part of Mansfield Runners, who are taking part in mental health charity Minds time to talk campaign, which aims to break down down the stigma associated with mental health by getting people talking about it.

Claire Booth, from Mansfield, says running has helped her manage her rare auto immune disease.

The 42 year old has Wegener’s Granulomatosis, a rare condition in which the blood vessels become inflamed. It mainly affects the ears, nose, sinuses, kidneys and lungs.

It can cause problems with sufferers' eyes, lungs and kidneys.

However, Claire says that running makes her feel empowered.

Claire, who heads out with running group Mansfield Runners said: "I run to keep myself and my mind positive and try to take some control of my disease, which although I know is nothing I can actually control, but I can control my mental state.

"I take a lot of comfort and reassurance in the knowledge that whilst I can run I know that it’s not flaring up.

"The disease affected my upper respiratory system and has left me with a 10% narrowing of my trachea.

"I had a disabled badge for a number of years as couldn’t walk more than 100yards without stopping - it was a very scary time and I think being put in a position where I was unable to do any exercise made me appreciate my health when I was in remission

"I worked very hard to be able to walk distances and then build up running again.

" l set myself small goals, and last year I accomplished something I wasn’t sure I would ever be able to do - a half marathon in under two hours.

"I now take a huge about of comfort in the fact that I can run. It clears my mind and I get a great buzz from pushing myself and seeing what I can achieve.

"I feel in control and empowered of my body and clears my mind to put life into perspective to enjoy my today’s as you never know when you won’t have a tomorrow.

"I feel very fortunate to have joined Mansfield Runners as have met so many great people and made some wonderful friends. They do and will continue to make anyone new joining feel very welcome.

Claire, who is currently training to run the London half-marathon in March, has advice for anyone thinking of taking up running: " Do it, don’t be fearful of what you might look like or that you might not be fast enough, strong enough, we are all different, the journey at the beginning might not be easy but the reward is definitely worth it."

Claire is a part of Mansfield Runners, who are taking part in mental health charity Mind’s ‘time to talk’ campaign, which aims to break down down the stigma associated with mental health by getting people talking about it.

During the week of February 2-8, Mansfield Runners are encouraging people to run one mile or further and to have a chat with friends, family, colleagues or other runners.

Mansfield Runners will be meeting at West Notts College’s sports hall tonight (February 7) at 6.30 pm, for a 10k run that will include options for walking, jogging and running so everyone is welcome.

Mansfield Runner's sister group Fit to RunMansfield will be offering a 5 km option for newer runners

To register visit www.runtogether.co.uk Or for more information contact:Maddy Collinge 07912410057 maddycollinge@gmail.com

Join the conversation on social media using #RunAndTalk.