ONE of Britain's fastest long-distance runners joined Winchester's mayor for a workout at the official opening of the city's latest gym today (Monday, February 5).

Louise Damen was joined by Councillor Frank Pearson at the launch of the David Lloyd Studio on Andover Road.

Louise, a PE teacher at Peter Symonds College and the 2011 English National Cross Country Champion, said: “It's great to see a health and fitness studio on Winchester's 'high street', especially as it's right on my doorstep, and I'll definitely be popping in when I can.”

Cllr Pearson said: “David Lloyd Studio will not only boost the viability of our town centre, but will also encourage us to be healthier and fitter. I tried personal training and the studio's fitness equipment today, and I am already tempted to improve my own fitness levels.”

Studios are a new initiative for David Lloyd, giving them a presence on the 'high street' for the first time. Smaller than their leisure centres and with no joining fee, they hope facilities like these will appeal to time-pressed professionals.

Studio manager Alastair Crew said: “I am looking forward to bringing this new studio concept to Winchester. I am excited by the positive response we've received so far and my team and I can't wait to start helping the people of Winchester move towards their fitness goals."