Too Fat to Run empowers overweight and inactive women to be the healthiest and happiest versions of themselves via the sport of running.
What is Too Fat to Run?
With one in three of us in the UK classified as overweight or obese, and 70% of us not doing enough exercise it’s clear we have a growing issue with obesity and inactivity, and the unfortunate side effect of this is that so many women in this country are left feeling unhappy with their body,stressed or depressed.
The Too Fat to Run fitness movement has a unique approach to physical exercise and empowering women to be the best version of themselves and is gradually changing the way overweight women think about sport and health starting at the size they are now.
Our current business model
Too Fat to Run is a popular community of plus size runners with provocative merchandise helping women to fly the flag and spot each other while training or competing in races, but it is our Online Coaching Programmes that are having the biggest impact on health around the UK and has the potential for the most social and commercial success.
Currently our coaching services are delivered virtually via
- #OnebigFatRun – Our FREE virtual 5K running event
- 5 Weeks to 5K – Our entry level running and mindset programme
- The Clubhouse – Our online running and support club
We also run a small numbers of in person inclusive training sessions
- Go Slow Groups – Meet up social sessions where the focus is building confidence in group running
- Get on Track – Track based sessions where speed work can be introduced in a safe environment
- Fat Girl Run Clinics – A day long introduction to running, with treasure hunt style 5K, speed sessions and mindset/goal setting workshop
Currently most of our in person programmes tend to be in the London/SouthEast area simply because we just don’t have the capacity at present to meet demand nationally. Founder Julie Creffield is also an established author with 5 books on Amazon and a sought after motivational speaker on the topics of inactivity and obesity.
What has been achieved so far?
- 3 Million+ unique visitors to the blog
- 30,000+ followers across social media
- 15,000+ members of an active Facebook community
- 4,000 participants in #OneBigFatRun a monthly virtual 5K
- Partnerships with England Athletics, This Girl Can, Race for Life, Womens Running and many more
- Appearances on mainstream media including 6 weeks on ITV’s This Morning
- Winner of awards and global plus size fitness accolades
- Julie is now considered a leading expert on plus size running around the world
How is our work different to what is already available?
We know that running is a growing sport for women, yet plus size women still tell us the running offer isn’t always right for them. Evening and weekend training sessions at prescribed times don’t always work, and group running when you know you are going to be the slowest and fattest is never any fun.
Because of the way we brand ourselves, overweight women know our programmes are going to be inclusive, safe and non shaming. We neither advocate for or against weight loss instead we encourage participation in exercise as part of an active lifestyle and promote self care, good nutrition and lots of love whatever size you are.
Our programmes complement existing running programmes like Run England Groups, Traditional Running Clubs and Parkrun because we are able to get women to the point where they are capable and confident to engage properly in these, and also we attract women that would not have considered the sport initially because they see women that look like them in our marketing and think “Maybe I could do that too”
We know the use of technology and particulary social media is helping many women who are socially isolated feel part of a community of runners even if they never actually meet up and run with anyone in real life…not everyone enjoys group running afterall.
Tell us a bit more about #OneBigFatrun
This is our FREE virtual run event which takes place on the last Sunday of every month. the concept is really simple, sign up on social media, commit to completing 5K, walk, Jog or Run, alone or with freinds and then show off once you have achieved it.
We have thousands of images and testimonials from overweight women taking part in this event, from every corner of the globe. With the proper technology to drive this FREE offer we estimate we could get 1 million overweight women running in the UK by 2020 and 20 million overweight women participating globally by 2030.
Funding so far?
In May 2014 Julie took out a small start up loan of £2,500 to redevelop the website and launch a simple range of Too Fat to Run merchandise to sell to her ladies, and since then the business has been growing steadily with income from the sales of ebooks, merchandise and online coaching programmes covering the costs of the website and allowing Julie to grow the back end of the business.
What do we need additional funding for?
Primarily this funding will be used to develop a UK network of official Too Fat to Run coaches who would deliver our programmes in their communities, including our monthly virtual 5K which requires some specific technology development and marketing support to grow.
The technology that drives our work currently needs updating and at the same time we need to grow in capacity staff wise to manage demand and take some of our most effective programmes offline. Therefore the initial round of 50K funding would pay for the following
- The development of a #OneBigFatRun mobile phone app and supporting technology to track progress, develop the community and measure the programmes success more accurately
- The development of our Too Fat to Run coaching network using a license model to train up an army of brand supportive coaches to deliver programmes on the ground, including capacity to deliver this on a national scale.
The breakdown would look a little like this
- £8,000 fulfilment of crowdfunding perks
- £7,000 for an app to be developed and integration into the website, including work on #OneBigFatRun
- £4,000 legal and development costs in regards to license agreements and IP for coaching model
- £4,000 design costs for development of the coaching model, handbook, marketing materials
- £25,000 project manager to roll out the programme across the UK in the first 12 months
- £2,000 contingency
Any additional funding raised would be spent to develop
- #OneBigFatRun as a regional event series
- An annual Too Fat to Run convention
- Further online Coaching Programmes
- Future plus size clothing ranges
- The TFTR delivery team
- TFTR Office Space
What resources do we already have?
- A concept that overweight women, local authorities, commercial brands and other interested parties can easily buy into
- Number of strategic partners already interested
- Database of potential participants and coaches
- Well functioning website with good SEO ranking
- Brand identity and awareness
- Experienced and passionate CEO
- A number of income streams
What about media coverage
We have featured in hundreds of online and print publications across the globe, and also featured on mainstream TV and Radio including
- Runners World
- Womens Running
- Athletics Weekly
- Channel 4
- The Today Show
- ITV’s This Morning
- The Huffington Post Live
- Healthy Magazine
- Daily Mail
- BBC4s Womens Hour
- #jogonkatiehopkins campaign
- Interview on Marathon Talk podcast
What do women have to say about Too Fat to Run
I wanted to thank you for your blog as someone who has been overweight my entire life I am always feeling judged. I know a large part of running is mental and your blog is helping me fight through these insecure voices in my head
You have given me my confidence back. Today I ran with my head held high, proud of my bouncing belly and boobs!
Your blog is the first thing I check in the morning. In South Africa there is not really any exercise programme for bigger ladies. So I hope that at one stage or another you will do one of your Fat Girl Running clinics here.
One of the best running workshops I have been on. A great day with fabulous women, that has built my confidence in running. Feel very inspired to keep going and do more
As a 55 year old woman who has never run – EVER – this day was a revelation. I actually did 5K and I feel great, and I know how to keep it going now too!
Everything at the front jumps up and down when I run but your site has encouraged me to put my trainers on in the morning and go anyway.
I went from not being able to run for two seconds to running a 5k in a little over a month and a lot of it was thanks to your blog.
There are very few resources for big girl runners and your blog showed me that I could get it done
Do some thing awesome today
Help Too Fat to Run to bridge that gap between female and male participation in sport, and help us get 1 million overweight women running and enjoying a healthier happier life
Please note when you pledge PayPal does not take the money until 24th May, and only if this project reaches its £50,000 target…so you don’t need to worry about waiting until paypay.