TWO women who have made big strides in changing their lives for the better will represent Renfrewshire and East Renfrewshire at the Great Scottish Run next month.

Emma Benstead, from Bishopton, and Pauline Docherty, from Barrhead, have been selected to take part in the Bank of Scotland Community Challenge, which will see them tackle 10k through the streets of Glasgow, alongside hundreds of thousands of intrepid fun runners.

One person from each of the 32 council areas in Scotland has been picked to represent their region in the event in a “10 weeks to 10k” challenge.

Emma, who works in IT, has lost five-and-a-half stones since taking up running and hopes to complete the race in under an hour.

The 42-year-old said: “I set up the Facebook page for everybody taking part – we’ve been talking and introducing each other and supporting each other.

“It is increasing my confidence and bringing me out of myself a bit more.

“I have really enjoyed being part of it, meeting the other champions.

“A few of us have been meeting up over the course of our training.

“We are all in different council areas but relatively nearby.”

Meanwhile, 50-year-old Pauline, who works at the University of the West of Scotland in Paisley, said she took up the challenge after making her 50th year one of transformation.

The hospitality worker has given up smoking and hopes that running will help her with real-life challenges – including the menopause.

Pauline said: “In March, I turned 50 years young.

“This was the turning point in my life and I decided to make some big changes.

“I have been having menopause for about a year now and I know exercise will help.”“When I saw the opportunity in the Evening Times newspaper, I just had to go for it.

“I have been working hard every day to achieve this.”

Starting in George Square in the heart of Glasgow, the run takes place on Sunday, October 1, and will see participants follow an iconic route through the city before they reach a tree-lined finish in the shadow of Nelson’s Monument.

Bank of Scotland is supporting runners from across Scotland who will be taking part in the event.

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