Rachel Benson on the struggle to find kit that fitted

·1-min read

Feeling self-conscious and struggling to find kit to suit her shape were big obstacles for Rachel Benson. ‘I started my running journey when I was obese,’ she says. ‘I was self-conscious and felt the world was looking at me as I puffed my way through the first weeks of Couch to 5K,’ she says. ‘In those weeks, I realised that my body didn’t fit running apparel and finding running leggings that fit was difficult. I almost gave up before I’d even started because of it. But I found a pair and went out in the dark so no one would notice me.’

Although keen to run unseen, Benson was pleasantly surprised by the reaction of others. ‘I had lots of encouragement from friends who never once mentioned my size or pace; they simply cheered me on for getting into running,’ she says. But despite positive changes in a body that can now run a half marathon in just over two hours, some issues remain. ‘I still feel like a bit of a fat imposter compared to many running brands and organisations, and have received honks from lorry drivers when they catch my flabby thighs in running shorts. But above all of this, my love for running remains.’

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