Number one: I graduated on January 4 and want to say to anyone who is struggling or hesitating to start, IF I CAN DO THIS SO CAN YOU!!! I am 64 (nearly 65, if I'm honest) and had never run in my life. I was both unfit and overweight before I began and frankly didn't believe I could do this. I won't say it's been easy: it took me two or three outings a week from August, so a lot more than 9 weeks. The early stages weren't so difficult for me but the long runs were particularly challenging and I have good days and bad days. A good day is completing it, however slowly. A bad day is stopping after 8 or 10 or 15 minutes and walking the rest of the way, thinking about giving up altogether and taking up darts. Since there are no decent English pubs in this part of southwest France I persevered with the running and am thrilled to bits! I've lost weight and feel much fitter, physically and mentally.
Number two: this programme and this forum are fantastic. Thanks to Laura for all her encouragement and thanks to everyone who posts such interesting and positive messages on the forum. This is the first time I've visited a forum and I am genuinely moved by your stories and courage and honesty. Your advice and messages of encouragement are invaluable.
To complete my Oscar speech, thank you too to the NHS for the programme. And to two Guardian journalists - Nick Cohen and Phil Daoust - for writing inspiring articles about running just when I needed to read them.
Happy 2018, happy running to all!