What got you into running? I started for stress relief during uni, and it really worked.
Why do you run? It's SO much more fun and sociable than the gym. The views are worth the occasional bad weather. And I really, really like cake.
What's your favourite running route? The Watlington 10K XC route ticks all the boxes and it's on my doorstep. A gentle run along the Ridgeway, 2 hills that you can feel proud of (even if, like me, you need to walk to the top bit every time), stunning views, a valley that makes you feel you're in a scene from The Sound of Music, and a long and gentle downhill to finish. Happy to run it with anyone who'd like a guide!
Do you take part in races? Yes. I love the atmosphere and having a goal to keep me motivated. I'm not fast but I do love seeing my own PBs improve and the event-day atmosphere always helps with that. And what better excuse for a big Sunday pub lunch to reward yourselves afterwards?
What's your greatest running achievement? Probably my first half marathon. It wasn't my fastest, by a long shot, but I worked so hard for it and finishing holding hands with my friend, having supported each other all the way round, was such an amazing feeling.
How long have you been at Benson Striders and how has it helped you and your running? About 4 years. I felt a bit shy when I moved to Watlington and a new friend persuaded me to give it a try, but I haven't looked back. I've been in a few clubs but Benson Striders is definitely the friendliest and most inclusive. They've been so encouraging, no matter whether you're at the front or the back, so even when my pace slowed massively after I had my baby, I still felt that I was doing well and supported in my running. The club has given me so much - with my running but also in great friendships. That's why I chose to train as a Leader.
Do you use any apps to record your running and if so which ones? I'm slightly in love with my Garmin Forerunner 210. I'm a bit of a running stats geek, and love to see how I'm doing and how that compares with how I'm feeling at the time, and looking at the graphs that show me how I'm improving over time. Fab idea for a Christmas present!
What advice would you give to someone new to running or the club? Congratulations! The hardest part is starting. If you can put one foot in front of the other, the rest will come. Don't try to go too fast, and walking is perfectly allowed. I still remember vividly when I could only run the distance between 2 lamp posts. And now I'm considering a marathon!
What's your favourite running read? 'Born to Run' by Christopher McDougall is just brilliant. It's autobiographical, full of fascinating stories about a tribe of runners and science about all of us as runners, and truly inspiring. I haven't sold it very well but just go and read it!
What's your favourite motivational motto? "You never regret a run". It's so true, and has helped me out on many, many occasions.