Run Director Michelle Lewis makes all the right moves
https://www.facebook.com/northamptonparkrun/ Michelle Lewis has added Street Dance Leader to her growing repertoire and given her Northampton community a much needed boost during the lockdown. Her neighbours look forward to ‘Sunday Night Fever’ at 7pm and forget about the current crisis for a time.
Step forward Michelle Lewis. This selfless woman has many talents that include Run Director at Northampton parkrun, Leader at Step Forward with Lewis and podcast host, and now the organiser of a socially distanced dance party in her village of Hardingstone.
Michelle has a strong sense of community, wanting to help others who are vulnerable or are dealing with life threatening conditions. An example of this is her role as an Ambassador at Northampton 5K Your Way, Move Against Cancer that recently celebrated its one year anniversary. She is a popular figure at Northampton parkrun and one of the 'Northampton Crayons’ – she is Mrs Purple – who have made their mark at various parkruns around the region.
In 2018, Michelle set up Step Forward with Lewis, a voluntary group that holds free running, walking and wheelchair activities for people of all abilities in a fun and friendly environment. Two of its members are deaf/hard of hearing parkrunners who since the lockdown are teaching her sign language.
For the last two years she has been short-listed for Volunteer of the Year at the Northampton Leisure Trust Sports Awards. She is very proud (and rightly so!) of her work at Northampton parkrun and Step Forward with Lewis.
Her passion for our favourite sport includes a series of podcasts titled ‘Running Tales’ where she has interviewed inspirational people such as wheelchair racer Carole James, Mark Kennedy who runs marathons despite living with a brain injury and Founder of Virtual Runner UK Susan Wheatcroft.
Michelle has run 15 marathons since 2015, numerous half marathons and parkruns and her enthusiasm for the sport remains undimmed. As she says: “I love every aspect of running, I do not just run, I volunteer and support as well. This is my way of giving back to something that helps me so much.”
She is missing parkrun...as we all are. It will return.
Image courtesy of Michelle Lewis