Trying anything for the first time can be scary. But when you have good friends, anything is possible.
This belief has propelled three women on a journey they never thought they would be taking.
"I am now a runner," says 63-year-old Paulette Kempton. "It is amazing."
Kempton along with her friends Janice Feener and Tanya Conrod have formed a running team called the "Just There Pals" and are entered into the Lucky Seven Relay at the Halifax Commons on Nov. 18.
Racers are encouraged to enter dream teams of three, or they can try their luck and be randomly paired with two other runners. Each member will run 7K in a team half-marathon. There will be random prize draws and jackpots, especially for people who cross the finish line 7th, 77th and 777th , those teams win $300.
Their team is special, says Kempton, because they are all new runners.
Kempton and Feener started running in January and Conrod first laced up her sneakers in April.
"It was not that long ago that I sat at night in front of the television eating chips," says the 45-year-old Conrod. "Living a busy life while working and raising teenagers can be tiring. But running has changed everything."
Conrod trained for her first race, the 5K Sole Sisters in June with her buddies and successfully completed the event.
She was amazed at how good she felt, enjoyed the support of cheering crowds at the race and continues to impress her proud family.
Feener is the third newbie runner on their team. She credits her friends with keeping her on the right track.
"I never thought I would have the dedication. And I have a steel plate in my leg, but that hasn't stopped me."
Feener has completed two 5-kilometer races since January and is looking forward to the Lucky Seven Relay, which will be her longest race ever.
The relay will also mark the third of three United by Running Races this team has competed in together.
"I find the link between physical fitness and friendship quite interesting," says Kempton. "No matter how long you have been away from either you can pick up where you have left off. Physical fitness and friendship don't have expiry dates."
Feener says she may be the slowest of her bunch, but she encourages all new runners to train and join in on the relay.
"You never know who you may inspire."
When she rounded the final corner of the 5K race at Maritime Race Weekend she saw an older man standing quietly by the road. He called out her name and said," By God Janice, you are running some good."
"That did it for me," says Feener. "The support from strangers is wonderful."
Running has given her a new attitude about a lot of things, besides giving her friends and good health.
"I don't like to be seen in public with wet hair, but after running in the rain now, I don't care as much. It is all good. Run because you can."
For info on how to register for the Lucky 7 Relay to be held Nov. 18, go to www.lucky7relay.com