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Runners challenged to beat the couch

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A group of runners who have completed a ten-week ‘Couch to 5K’ training programme will be aiming to literally beat a couch in tomorrow’s ‘Sir’ Stanley Burgess 5K road race.

The couch has been fitted with wheels and will be pushed around the course by two of the Island’s fastest runners, husband and wife Chris and Ashley Estwanik.

Early morning spectators may well wonder what is going on when they see the piece of household furniture whizzing by. The idea of having an actual couch in the race is to turn the training programme, dubbed ‘Beat the Couch’, from a catchy metaphor into a physical reality.

The training group, consisting of 47 members, have worked to improve their fitness to the point where they can tackle a 5K race. Led by trainers Sergio White, Chuck Morgan and nutritionist Catherine Burns, the group has fulfilled the ‘Couch to 5K’ training regime which has proven popular in various parts of the world and tomorrow is the finale as they run 3.1 miles.

To spice things up the Estwaniks, who are friends of Burns, agreed to push a couch on wheels around the course as an added impetus for the training group to do their best and see if they can beat the couch to the finish line at Devonshire Rec field.

“We wanted to take the ‘Couch to 5K’ concept one stage further,” said Burns, who writes the weekly Food for Thought column in

The Royal Gazette. “The idea is to beat the couch. I’m not sure how long it will take to push it around the course.”

Race organisers Swan’s Running Club has given permission for the couch to feature in the race. The training group, aged mostly between 30 and 50, is made up almost exclusively by women, although there are four men. Many of the women are mothers getting back in shape after having children. One member of the group is 60.

The 5K race starts at 9am from Gymnasium Road, Devonshire, with walkers setting off half an hour earlier. Late entries can be made today between 1pm and 3pm during race number pick-up at the Devonshire Rec Club.

Beat the couch: Ashley Estwanik sits in the centre of the couch which she and husband Chris will push around the 'Sir' Stanley Burgess 5K race tomorrow.
Chris and Ashley Estwanik will be pushing a couch around the course in tomorrow's 'Sir' Stanley Burgess 5k road race.

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Published May 11, 2013 at 9:00 am (Updated May 10, 2013 at 10:28 pm)

Runners challenged to beat the couch

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