It all began when I replied to an ad in the Benson Bulletin asking for 'jog leader' volunteers. I'd been running for a while but found it difficult to stay motivated on my own I'd had no luck in finding a local club for a social runner like me and so I decided to start one! Lindsey and Colin were the first members and 5 years on, we now have 54 members.
What do you enjoy most?
I get a huge sense of satisfaction from helping beginners to achieve their goals and watching their journey, as they become fully-fledged runners. It's also been a great way to make so many new friends (some of whom have now become old friends!) and to feel part of the local community.
I also really love the camaraderie and friendship of running together as a group. Nothing demonstrated this more than when I was marathon training with 5 others from the group. There is now way I could have achieved this life long ambition without the support of my fellow runners and all my Benson Striders friends. It's amazing how well you get to know someone when you've been out running for 3 hours! It was a fantastic and emotional journey and I will always treasure the special moments we shared.
What is your greatest running achievement?
It has to be being selected to carry the Olympic torch in 2012, after being nominated by members of the club. It was such an honour to be chosen and a truly humbling experience when so many of the other torchbearers had achieved so much more. It was certainly a day I'll never forget!
What is your favourite running route?
I love running in the countryside and having the Chilterns on our doorstep is fabulous. I think running in Swyncombe Woods takes some beating, especially in the autumn with all the beautiful golden trees and red kites flying around.
Any messages you want to convey?
Don't stop trying. We all get injured and have off days when running is the last thing you want to do, but you will never regret a run and will undoubtedly feel better, both mentally and physically, for a blast of fresh air.
Any interesting facts about you?
My P.E. teacher at school hated me! I was the un-sportiest person she'd ever met! Now I live in a house full of sports-mad boys and they're now the ones who get frustrated at my 'un-sportiness'!
What's your vision for the club over the next 5 years?
To have 100 happy long term members by our 10th anniversary!