What got you into running? I was unable to sprint anymore due to injury but I missed training outdoors in a group. I moved to Benson a year ago and on a spur of the moment decision stopped some runners in Benson to ask about local running groups. Although I lacked confidence in my ability to run distances of over a mile or two they were so friendly and enthusiastic that I gave it a go, surprised myself and have not looked back since.
Why do you run? Fresh air, feel good, fitness, fun and friends. I think that about covers it.
What’s your favourite running route? I just love running and exploring. I prefer off road but any run with beautiful scenery and the opportunity to enjoy the natural environment is a winner.
Do you take part in races? More events than races as I want to avoid becoming too competitive. At the moment I just want to run for fun and not get caught up chasing times. Coming from an athletics background I am all too aware of my competitive nature!
It is good to have a focus though so I support local events such as the Hairy Legs Challenge and Chiltern Chase as well as larger events such as the Coastal Trail Series where the emphasis is on the experience of running along some amazing trails.
What’s your greatest running achievement? If you count my athletics days then representing GB in Long Jump as an under 20 athlete would be up there. For distance running though it’s as simple as being able to run for an hour non-stop and sharing in the camaraderie of Benson Striders (oh dear reading that back I sound very soppy!!).
Do you use any running apps to record your running and if so which ones? When I am a Run Leader and when trying out new routes I use Polar Beat / Fitness to record the distance, time and pace but other than that I like to run free from technology.
How long have you been at Benson Striders and how has it helped your running? 11 months and counting. The Striders have helped me with my pace judgment and with my ability to run for a longer duration than my fast twitch fibres thought possible. Since moving to Benson the club as provided me with friendships, a sense of belonging and a better insight into the community and area in which I live. Thank you.
What advice would you give to someone new to running or the club? Go for it but at your own pace and don’t be put off by comparing yourself to others. Being active is so important for physical and mental health that any pace and distance is better than sitting on the couch. If you have decided that running is your activity of choice you couldn’t choose a better group than Benson Striders for support and for being made to feel welcome. It really helps having a group of people to run with. Be prepared by investing in a comfortable pair of trainers and then just see where running takes you and what it allows you to achieve.
What’s your favourite motivational motto? “Do something today that your future self will thank you for.”