KATIE BULMER-COOKE: I had a strictly great time!

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Wow, what a week it has been. I feel like it’s been one big blur of fitness, business and fun.

 On Saturday me and some of my Real Results Club members headed off to Hexham to take part in the Mad March Mare, a 10k run/trek littered with various obstacles, from climbing waterfalls and wading through lakes to crawling through mud tunnels and scaling fencing.

 We had a great laugh all the way round, especially when one of our team members ripped her leggings, exposing her bottom, but my goodness, was it a tough challenge. It was physically challenging, but the biggest challenge for me was the cold.

 It was snowing and my hands just froze into a fist position and I had to put warm water on them at the end to get them to open up again. It was ace to see so many people getting involved for all kinds of different reasons, from raising money for charity to simply setting themselves a personal challenge.

 This week it was finally time to take to the dance floor and compete in Strictly Sunderland. When I woke up on the morning of the event I hadn’t expected to feel as nervous as I did.

 I didn’t even feel that nervous when I hosted the National Fitness Awards.

 I donned my Charleston costume and me and my wonderful friend and dance partner, Stuart Hatton, took to the floor. Our routine was so fast I could hardly breathe at the end, but the atmosphere in the room was amazing, and it felt like the dance was over in a flash.

 Once we had finished performing it was time for the judges comments and scores and I was buzzing when we were the only couple to receive full marks from the judges.

 Sadly, we didn’t win the audience vote, but a big well done to champions Fiona and Gavin who took the trophy home, and of course a massive high five to everyone who took part, everyone was class.

 Check out my Facebook page to see the video of mine and Stuart’s Charleston, I’m dead proud of it.

 I couldn’t write about Strictly Sunderland without congratulating Debbie Hayes of Make My Day events and Nicola Collinson of Rough Diamond Entertainment on putting together and hosting a absolutely cracking night.

 It was slick, entertaining and all round blooming brilliant.

 So now that I’ve hung up my dancing shoes, what’s the next challenge? Well from last week’s column you may remember I’m pounding the pavements in preparation for the Sunderland 10k.

 Well, I’ve taken it a step further and got myself a place in the Great North Run too, so it’s serous training time. Now, as I didn’t win Strictly Sunderland and the £2000 donation to my chosen charity, I’m going to try to raise that amount via sponsorship for the Great North Run.

 My chosen charity is Crohn’s and Colitis UK. It’s a cause that’s very close to my heart and I’m determined to raise some more money for them, so my social media followers can now look forward to me filling their news feeds with lots of Just Giving links!