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Couple beat PBs with Beat the Couch

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Three years ago, Craig and Jackie Scott were determined to get fit.

The couple signed up for fitness programme Beat the Couch, and changed their diet.

Ten weeks later they were thrilled to find they could run 5K without stopping.

“Afterward, we vowed we would keep exercising in some form — although maybe not running,” said Mr Scott.

But things didn't work out that way.

“The exercise started tapering off when the summer heat hit, although I still walked the dog twice a day.”

Their diets also went a little off track; pasta and bread made it back on to their plates.

When their waistbands started tightening last October, they decided it was time to get in touch with Beat the Couch founder Catherine Burns again.

“We just wanted to be a bit more fit and healthy,” said Mr Scott. “If losing weight was a side-effect, that was great.”

His wife was a bit more ambitious.

“We wanted to beat our previous times,” she said. “The first time I ran it in 34 minutes and he in 27:40.”

They signed up for the ten-week programme a second time, training rain or shine.

If they went on vacation, they sent back photos of themselves running.

Then last December, just a few days before the 5K race, disaster struck.

“I was out jogging by myself,” said Mr Scott. “Someone opened a car door and I went off the curb to avoid it. I twisted my ankle quite badly.”

Meanwhile, his wife picked up a hacking cough.

They withdrew from the race, especially annoyed as they'd beat their previous times in a practice run only days before.

Mr Scott finished the 5K race in a time of 26:20; his wife in 33 minutes.

“We knew we could do it,” Mr Scott said.

The couple were surprised to win the programme's Friends and Family Cup last week. Mrs Burns said their dedication and team spirit earned them the prize.

“They were amazingly supportive of everyone around them,” she said. “We also saw great improvements in their running.”

The Scotts said they found the programme a lot easier the second time around.

“We don't consider ourselves runners,” said Mrs Scott. “He likes to sail and I like horses. He did some running years ago and I had never done any in my life. This time, we had more stamina.”

Said her husband: “When you first do it you don't know if you can. The second time around we knew that we could do it and we tried to build on that.”

Beat the Couch trains novice runners to complete a 5K through gradual training. They used the Botanical Gardens to practise.

“They do in intervals,” Mrs Scott said. “You start out running for 60 seconds and then you work your way up.

“The hardest part was when you go from an eight-minute run to a 20-minute run, uphill. It's a baby hill, but it seems like a mountain when you first start it. We had a few names for that hill in the programme, but none of them I can repeat here.

“We're very competitive. I think that was one of the reasons we stuck to training.”

The couple are originally from England and came to Bermuda about two decades ago. They have been married for 16 years.

The programme gave them something to do together, but also the opportunity to train with people who run at a similar pace to themselves.

The group met three times a week, for 30 to 45 minutes. The hardest part for the Scotts was finding the time. Mr Scott is an engineer; his wife works in reinsurance.

“The programme is fantastic,” Mrs Scott said.

“The trainers advise you on what to do. If you trained by yourself you wouldn't have anyone to help you or ask questions.”

The next season of Beat the Couch starts today. Register on 505-4725 or Also see:

Friends through fitness: Craig and Jackie Scott, fifth and sixth from left, with the last Beat the Couch group (Photograph supplied)
Great achievement: Craig and Jackie Scott after finishing Beat the Couch (Photograph supplied)
Trophy couple: Jackie and Craig Scott receiving the Beat the Couch Friends and Family Cup (Photograph supplied)

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Published February 23, 2017 at 8:00 am (Updated February 23, 2017 at 7:41 am)

Couple beat PBs with Beat the Couch

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