A MUM who struggled to climb stairs has discovered a passion for running.

Charlotte Mills is now encouraging others to keep fit as she revives the Winsford 10k run on Sunday, October 27.

The 41-year-old was diagnosed with chronic sarcoidosis, an inflammatory disease which causes swollen tissue to develop in the organs of the body, six years ago and gained eight stone after being put on steroids.

"I struggled to walk up the stairs," said single mum Charlotte, who has a 14-year-old son."I was overweight and arthritic and ended up with really low self esteem."

A school reunion three years ago prompted her to try and improve her fitness.

"I was in such a state, it really depressed me," said Charlotte. "So I started walking."

A friend put her in touch with Northwich Running Club and she joined their free Couch to 5k programme in January 2017.

"I plucked up the courage to join and it has given me a new lease of life," said Charlotte, who is now in total remission from her illness. "I had hit rock bottom and now I'm a fully fledged runner!

"My love for this sport has grown so much. Having support and guidance is so much easier than doing it on your own. The running community is insanely supportive, it's like a massive international family. If you go on Facebook, there is always someone who can give you advice on how to get started."

Charlotte, from Cuddington, who used to live in Winsford, has completed several half marathons in Wilmslow and Chester.

"I haven't lost much weight, I'm still six stone overweight but I'm fitter and healthier than I've ever been," she said. "I run at least three times a week and cycle as well now.

"It has not just had an impact on my physical health, my social life is great too. There's a great sense of belonging when you're a member of a club."

Charlotte entered the Winsford 10k when it was last held in 2017.

"I finished last but I really enjoyed it," she said. "It is my big goal to do it again, I was really excited, but it wasn't held last year."

Charlotte and Iain Borsbey have teamed up with Compass Minerals and Rock Salt Running to restore the community run which they hope will now become annual event.

Winsford Guardian:

The Winsford 10k route will take runners back along the scenic River Weaver to the salt mine

The route will start at Compass Minerals and follow picturesque trails, paths and lanes of Winsford and Whitegate Way, through the grounds of Vale Royal Abbey and back along the River Weaver to the salt mine.

Winsford Guardian:

Winsford 10k entrants will run through the beautiful grounds of Vale Royal Abbey

"It is easy to forget how much beauty is on our doorsteps," said Charlotte. "We took a walk along the route and were blown away by the beautiful scenery.Winsford is stunning."

Charlotte is now training as a coach and is believes everyone can run if they put their minds to it.

"It is really tough while you are doing a marathon but the sense of achievement at the end of the run is incredible," she said. "It just gives you such a boost mentally and physically and makes you feel good.

Winsford Guardian:

Runner Iain Borsbey has teamed up with Charlotte Mills to revive the Winsford 10k

"I was really against running to begin with but a friend kept nagging me. After one week I was converted, it was bonkers!

"Couch to 5k is so achievable. You're with experts all the time and build up gradually by jogging and walking.

"Anyone can do it. All you need is comfy trainers, a T-shirt and leggings. It is totally achievable."

More than 150 people have already entered Winsford 10k and it is hoped schoolchildren aged over 16 will take part.

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A £1 from every entry will go to St Luke's Hospice and remaining proceeds will fund more inclusive events.

The first male and female finishers from Winsford will receive a local prize.

Any businesses wishing to sponsor the event or any volunteers willing to help on the day can email info@rocksaltrunning.com.

To enter visit rocksaltrunning.com