Pat put through her paces for 20 years

Pat Ainsworth has been going to Dewsbury Sports Centre to do circuits for more than 20 years. She's done 16 London marathons and raised �130k for charity and credits her fitness to her workouts at the sports centre.
Pat Ainsworth has been going to Dewsbury Sports Centre to do circuits for more than 20 years. She's done 16 London marathons and raised �130k for charity and credits her fitness to her workouts at the sports centre.

A pensioner who has completed 16 London marathons credits years spent at Dewsbury Sports Centre for keeping her running.

Pat Ainsworth, 67, was a self-confessed ‘couch potato’ before she started circuit training more than 20 years ago.

But since then she has raised £130,000 for good causes by doing marathons and sponsored walks in New York, Peru, China and Nepal, amongst others.

Mrs Ainsworth, a former Fox’s Biscuits employee, said: “It all started when I went to watch my husband play five-a-side at Dewsbury. At the other side of the gym there were some people doing circuit training and I thought ‘I wouldn’t mind having a go at that.’

“My husband just laughed but I’ve been going ever since. It was a life-changing experience – I got the bug.”

Mrs Ainsworth has been attending weekly circuit training – short bursts of resistance exercise using moderate weights and frequent repetitions – for more than 20 years. “I honestly think that if I didn’t do the circuits, I wouldn’t be able to do my marathons,” she added.

She also credits ex-instructor Phil Clarke and current instructor Mo Ali for keeping her motivated and fighting fit. “The trainers are very good – they really get you going,” she added.

Mrs Ainsworth travels to the sessions from Emley with husband Jim, 67. “There’s a bit of competition, but I’m not as quick as I used to be,” she said. “But I want people to realise age isn’t a barrier. It doesn’t mean you’ve got to stop and put your slippers on.”

Mrs Ainsworth also completed the Race for Life at New Hall women’s prison, where she used to work, last Friday.