Imperfection is beauty, madness is genius and it is better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring
- Marilyn Monroe
how did ugly runners get started?
I'm Jess, the founder of Ugly Runners, and I'm a fitness and mental health professional based in London. I have been incredibly fortunate to have spent almost a decade teaching, educating and presenting fitness in over twenty countries and working in some of London's most amazing Fitness Studios. I am a Master Trainer at 1Rebel, a Global 'Icon' for fitness brand PoundFit and a Nike Ambassador.
In my opinion I am always a student first and teacher second so am always learning from the brilliant people I have the pleasure of working with and knowing. In addition to fitness, I have five hundred hours of Yoga teacher training, am a Psychotherapist Postgraduate in Training and a student member of the BACP.
Physical and mental health are my passions and my profession and so creating a community to nourish both seemed inevitable. Ugly Runners is a safe, supportive, inclusive and FUN community.
We celebrate diversity and beauty in imperfections. In a world of filters, pressure and masking our emotional or physical struggle, Ugly Runners aims to lift that stigma and recognise that life - and runs - can both get a little bit ugly. And that is more than okay - it's human!
The first pillar of Ugly Runners is: Exercise
Exercise is well known for its physical and mental benefits
Helps with depression, anxiety and more
Increases overall mood
Helps to build stronger muscles
Increases cardiovascular fitness
Ugly Runners welcomes all abilities from absolute beginners to seasoned runners.
Ugly Runners also educates members on complimentary exercises to avoid injury including: mobility, activation, warm ups, cool down and other exercise alternatives.
The second pillar of Ugly Runners is: Fresh Air
Being in nature and fresh air is also proven to lift spirits and be beneficial for mental health.
It can help to reduce stress and anxiety.
It can promote mindfulness.
Some people in the medical profession are even starting to write "nature prescriptions"
and recognising the healing benefits of spending time outdoors.
The benefits of spending time outdoors plus exercise is a pretty powerful recipe for nourishing body and mind.
The third pillar of Ugly Runners is: Community
Ugly Runners is a running club and a community. It's a safe space. Anyone who can ditch the ego, hold their hands up and say that life gets ugly and runs get ugly can do a lot to change the face of fitness and mental health.
Community is the heart of Ugly Runners: the club attracts such wonderful, open minded and supportive individuals.
We recognise and celebrate
success in all forms - whether that is your fastest or your first 5k, completing a marathon, getting up and lacing up when you thought you couldn't do a 2K with your 5-year-old son...
Community is also a key component in motivation. As a collective, we explore different motivation tactics, knowing that not one size fits all. From charity challenges, club challenges, music and
podcasts, we share and seek to motivate. Additional challenges are always optional.
WHAT PEOPLE SAY ABOUT
Ugly Runners is so much more than just a running club. It’s a community, an amazing group of people that have come together who support each other whether you’ve run 2k or 250k. Focusing on what we’ve enjoyed about our runs rather than just focusing on speed or distance is key, although we do celebrate that too.
For me, it has been the best way to get back into running after finishing cancer treatment, keeping me accountable without pressure. With everyone motivating each other every week, I know I’ll always have their support, whether I’ve crawled round the block or ran my personal best.
Each Sunday I look forward to seeing everyone after my run to share & listen to each others' stories. There are fun challenges or tasks set each week which you can join in or not, again no pressure, but it’s there if you fancy giving yourself a challenge or trying something new. It’s made me look at running in a whole new way and I’ve fallen in love with running all over again.