How long have you been running? About 3 years.
What got you into running? I wanted to get a bit ftter. I entered a 5k Race for Life as a way to raise some money for charity...little did I know then that I would fall in love with running!
Why do you run? So that I can eat cake!! That's what I tell most people...but honestly running has been a way for me to keep my mental health in check. When I first started running I was having some problems with anxiety at University. Running gave me the opportunity to clear my head and a way to boost my mood when I was really struggling. My experiences with this have inspired me to explore the links between sport and mental health. Although I'm now sadly leaving the Striders, I'm very excited to be starting a Master's degree in Sport and Exercise Psychology at Loughborough University.
What's your favourite running route? My favourite run I've ever done was in New Zealand around part of a beautiful lake in Wanaka at sunset. I love that running gives you an opportunity to explore some breathtaking places. I've lived in Benson for more than 20 years but it's only through my runs with Benson Striders that have shown me some of the stunning countryside our local area has to offer.
Do you take part in races? Yes! As much as running gives me a chance to de-stress, I'm a very competitive person so I also love taking part in races. I have done numerous 10k races and Oxford Half in October will be my third Half Marathon. Half Marathons have such a wonderful spirit and atmosphere I would recommend it to anyone!
What's your greatest running achievement? In March 2015 I ran Bath Half Marathon in 1hour 54minutes. This was a good 20 minutes faster than my first Half Marathon the year before. It was a real testament to how muhc being part of the Striders has improved my running and my fitness. I also raised over £500 for a charity called Sport in Mind who run sports sessions in Berkshire for people suffering from mental health problems.
How long have you been at Benson Striders and how has it helped you and your running? I have been running with the Striders for a year now. It has been beneficial for me in so many ways! Most importantly I've met so many wonderful people who have inspired and supported me to improve my running. Lindsey's fartlek and Emma's hill training sessions have really helped me to improve my pace and introduced me to new ways of training. I have also explored the local area through running routes I would have never known about without my time with the Striders.
Do you use any apps to record your running and if so which ones? I use the Runmeter app. I like to have somewhere to record my pace and distance of runs so I can see where I am improving. One day when I'm a rich, successful Psychologist I'll be able to affor one of those lovely Garmin watches.
What advice would you give to someone new to running? Take it slowly and don't be discouraged! Four years ago I could barely run a few metres, but by gradually building up distances I am now running Half Marathons. You'll be amazed what your legs and your head is capable of!! Running can be great, but at times it can also be really hard! Try your best to keep positive! It gets easier!
What's your favourite motivational motto? Nothing worth doing is easy. Something my Mum told me many times through University but I also fee is very relevant to running! If you could run 13 miles without breaking a sweat or having a slight mental breakdown along the way then everyone would do it. That's what makes us amazing...or perhaps slightly insane...to have the strength to go out on every run!
I just wanted to say a massive thank you to everyone at Benson Striders and all who I have had the pleasure of running with this year. I am so glad to have met you all and can't thank you all enough for the support with my running, I have improved beyond what I ever imagined would be possible!