The Unstoppable Spin Queen

our cq magazine Mar 29, 2023
Connie Burns

This article is from the latest edition of Coleraine Quarterly. 

Connie Burns Wolfe is a force to be reckoned with. Otherwise known as the Spin Queen, Connie is a marketing manager and owner of an indoor cycling studio called Spin Club in Coleraine.

Not content with holding down a full time job, teaching 18 spin classes a week to her enthusiastic spinners, Connie is preparing to run not one, but three races this year.

“It was my New Year’s resolution to complete at least two half marathons this year,” she explained. “I wanted to set myself a little challenge for 2023 and after chatting with my friends, Aoibhinn and Claire, who are running the London Landmarks Half Marathon with me, we completed our registrations before we could talk ourselves back out of it. 

First up for Connie is the Walled City 10 miler on March 10, followed by the London Landmarks Half Marathon on April 2 and lastly the Belfast Half Marathon on September 17. However, it’s the London Landmarks Half Marathon which will have that extra special meaning for Connie and her friends.

“I wanted to do the Walled City 10 miles in order to get a practice race in advance of going to London,” said the fitness enthusiast. “I am running the London Landmarks Half Marathon for Team Tommy’s because one of my best friends had her son 28 weeks early and then unfortunately lost him when he was just two weeks old - no mother should ever have to go through that.

“Tommy's is a charity which funds research into miscarriage, stillbirth and premature birth and provides pregnancy health information to parents and every penny counts.” 

With the Belfast Half Marathon someway off, the Coleraine spin instructor is hoping to use the time to rally up some of her Spin Club members to join her, but time will tell if they're up for the challenge.

“We did a Spinathon a few years ago with the Rotary Club Coleraine in aid of the Air Ambulance and we raised a whopping £13,000 so I will have to work on our spinners and see if I can gather some volunteer runners to take on this challenge,” she added.

Originally from Warrenpoint, but now living in Coleraine with her wife Nicola and their two Cocker Spaniels, Dylan and Dolly, Connie brought her love of spinning with her to the town.

“I have always loved spin classes,” enthused Connie. “My friend Lisa asked me to go along to Newry Leisure Centre many years ago and I was immediately hooked.

“When I moved to Coleraine I wanted to find the same style of classes that I had been attending at home…basically clean bonkers and I hope that is exactly what I have brought to the North Coast.”

Mixing a full time job, teaching classes and fitting in marathon training is no mean feat but Connie takes it all in her stride.

“I honestly don’t know what I was thinking as I barely have time but here we are, I am clocking the miles up now and I’m still on the bike in every class with my spinners just taking it one day at a time.

“My wife is very supportive and has been holding down the fort at home while I am pounding the footpaths, on a spin bike or at work, I think she is secretly enjoying the peace and quiet when I am out of the house,” she joked.

Training may be pushing Connie to her limits but the driving force behind her dogged determination is a desire not to let her friends - Aoibhinn and Claire or any of her sponsors down.

“I have never done anything like this before so I have been really strict on myself in preparation for the half marathon, it will be the furthest I have ever ran but I am looking forward to taking in the sights of London as I go. I knew as I was filling out the registrations that this wasn’t going to be easy but it will be worth it.”

Many of us struggle to get up at a reasonable hour for work, let alone undertake high octane spin classes or pounding the roads before work, but not the Spin Queen.

“Every morning at 5am I’m up and at it. I am an early riser, I set an alarm but I am usually awake long before it goes off.

“I jump out of bed on a Monday and Tuesday but as the week goes on and I begin to get more fatigued from the extra training and it is definitely harder to stay motivated but people have been donating on my Team Tommy’s/Just Giving page so as long as people have parted with their hard earned cash to support me and this brilliant charity I will continue to get up, lace up and show up.

“People who follow my Spin Club Facebook and Instagram page @spinclubcoleraine have also been keeping me going, they message to ask how many miles I have done that day or simply send a ‘keep going’ message and that really means a lot.

“So, if anyone has a few pounds to spare, I would be so grateful if you could pop some into my Just Giving, it is going towards a fantastic charity who do great work and is very close to my heart.”

To donate visit: Connie – London Landmarks Half Marathon -  Sponsor Page 

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