Fitness fanatic gets colleague’s backing for Tour of Tameside challenge
Tuesday 5th June 2018 @ 16:48 by Tom Greggan
News Stalybridge Tameside

After losing five stone in three years, a Stalybridge woman is taking on her biggest fitness challenge yet at the Tour of Tameside.

Michelle Bird, a Sales and Lettings Negotiator at Hunters Estate Agents, is set to take part in all four of this weekend’s events, raising money for Willow Wood Hospice in the process.

Michelle’s fitness journey started three years ago, after the birth of her son. She explained: “Before I had the baby, I was quite into the gym and fitness but I dropped everything when I got pregnant. I lay on the sofa and did nothing, so when I gave birth, I didn’t lose a pound. I had to get my butt kicked into gear so I joined 360 Fitness in Stalybridge. I only meant to join for a couple of months to give myself a bit of a push but three years later and I’m still there!”

Before and after: Michelle lost five stone in three years

I’m in quite a good place now, fitness-wise. Taj Singh is my trainer at 360 and I was one of his first clients so I was like his project. He’s the driving force; if I have a piece of chocolate I can’t sleep unless I text him to tell him!”

After a completing a few runs for fun, including last year’s Hell on the Fell, Michelle decided it was time to up the ante and push herself for a bigger challenge.

She has been backed by her colleagues at Hunters and her boss, Alex Wilson, who paid for her place on the tour. “I mentioned it to Alex who was really up for it,” she said. “He kindly paid for my place and suggested that I do it for Willow Wood so we got them involved. It’s nice to know I’ve got the backing and support from my boss and my colleagues.

“I’ve got a three-year-old now, so his Dad has been great looking after him while I’ve been off training all the time. His gran has been having him to give me a chance to get out and get some runs in. A couple of my friends from the gym do all the runs with me so they’ve been training me and pushing me, even though they won’t the events! I’ve had lots of support, it’s been brilliant.”

Michelle, who originally hails from Wythenshawe, says she’s least looking forward to the Hyde Half-Marathon on Saturday, having not run such a long distance before. “I’m so nervous,” she said. “Because it’s one each day, you’ve not really got time to recover. Thankfully, they’ve given me the day off on the Monday!”

Having set herself a fundraising target of £250, Michelle is already on well on her way to smashing it through online and cash donations. You can support Michelle and donate to Willow Wood Hospice by visiting

Hunters Estate Agents, on Mottram Road, are always looking to help the local community. Whether it’s more running for Michelle to do or any events that staff can contribute to, you can get in touch with them on 0161 870 1980.