Having been very active in many sports from my school days, by the time I reached my mid thirties work and family pressures meant I wasn't actively participating in regular sport any longer. It was while watching the London Marathon on TV one Sunday morning that Janice and I decided we should run London before we hit 40.
This gave us the Running bug and we started running locally and entering local events as part of our training schedules, enjoying the atmosphere and buzz of these regular events. I have now completed many marathons and countless 10k, 10 mile and half marathon races.
So after several years of running regularly together, Janice and I decided to join Harlow Running Club and it has been a fantastic experience. The camaraderie and training structure the Club provides has seen running become a core part of our daily lives and has maintained my motivation for running more than 10 years after deciding to tackle that first marathon.
I have always been an active person taking part in a range of sports, Karate, Badminton, Boot camp, fell walking. but had always thought that asthma would stop me from being able to take up running. When I was training for the Yorkshire 3 peaks challenge walk I started to attempt short runs around the fields where I live & found that I enjoyed running and gradually started to increase the distance. I then decided that I needed to get
some running shoes & took a friend with me when I went to buy them, as I left the shop he handed me a leaflet & said hereís your first race it was the Braintree Skyline 5 mile a couple of months later. Whilst I laughed at the suggestion he knew I was not one to turn down a challenge & I entered the race. Within a few days of the race a leaflet arrived on my desk at work looking for members of staff to sign up to run the Peterborough half later in the year, I put my name on the list & then realised I would need some help to train for the event and this prompted me to join Harlow Running club & havenít looked back.
The support & encouragement I have received has helped me to achieve not only my goal of a half marathon but I have now also competed four marathons and two ultras. I like to challenge myself & have found being part of the club gives me the opportunity to train with like minded people.
After three years at university which consisted mainly of heavy drinking and eating as much pizza as I could possibly stuff into my face I felt generally unwell and ready for a change. I knew that if I was going to cope with being a fulltime teacher I needed to keep my mind and body healthy and active and with that realisation came my first attempt at running. At first it was so difficult but after a while I started to get the hang of it and before I knew it was actually enjoying my daily routine of a 6 mile loop near my home in Roydon. Joining Harlow Running Club soon after becoming
more confident with my pace and distance has kept me motivated and engaged with running for the best part of 4 years. Harlow Running Club caters for all abilities Ė I am certainly not a speedy runner but have always felt encouraged and looked after by other members. Being a member of a club means you always have a friendly, supportive and totally engaged running community around you. There is always something different going on which you can join in with, club running can be as all-consuming or as relaxed as you want it to be. I particularly love inter-club cross country races which are held in the winter. There is a certain satisfaction in getting out into the freezing cold and having an amazing run when everyone else if moaning about the weather and staying indoors! If you are thinking of trying a running club go for it and come and join us!
I have chosen to run as I find it the best way to keep my weight down whilst still being able to enjoy food and not so occasional glass of wine/beer etc. Since joining the club in 2012 I have liked the cameradie of being part of a club and the encouragement to improve whatever your level. I will continue to do the club run and the races which we can do.
I started in the beginners and got the running bug immediately. I was only there for a few weeks when it was suggested I try the later group. It's amazing how quickly your running improves when you stay with it. My first time in the later group was a club 5 mile race. I didn't know how quickly I could run it, it was also going to be the furthest distance I had run. I completed it in 56.09. After three months running at the club I ran the same race in 34.55.
I love the competitive side of running and seeing your race times drop with training. There always seems to be someone just that little bit faster who you are trying to beat to keep you motivated to improve all the time.
My ultimate running ambition is to run at sub 40 minute 10k, just once. My fastest time so far is 42.53, so I still have lots of work to do but steadily I am getting there.
I am one of the founder members of Harlow Running Club and have being part of some very exiting times at
club. I have helped with the coaching of members with reasonable results. I have also helped to
set runs up.
I first took up running back in 1986 when, after struggling to run for a bus, I decided it was time to get fit! I was 21.
For the next 5 years I ran on my own, taking on all the distances including the
Since then Iíve achieved many goals with the club including running several marathons abroad, team event successes and running the sort of landmark personal bests that I thought only ďotherĒ runners could achieve. Iíve made many good friends in the club-in fact most of my best friends have come from the club (they know who they are). Most importantly, the club has become a big part of my life and, whenever Iíve had personal problems, Iíve found that running has been my salvation.
In recent years my work commitments have partly restricted my time at the club but I still find the time when it really matters. Iím in my second stint as Menís team captain and Iím proud of that-I still get a little tingle when I put that vest on and line up for a race, after more than 18 years.
By the way, I did catch that bus...
Vicky joined HRC in 2006. Vicky says ĎI had been running on my own since 2000, and generally entered a half marathon every year. In 2006 I ran the London Marathon for St Clare Hospice, and HRC were very helpful with offering advice and allowing us to share their transport to the Silverstone HM and the Marathon. My husband and I then decided to join HRC, even though it wasnít our local club, as they had been so welcoming. As a couple, training with HRC allows us to run at our different paces and still have company without me holding my husband back! Since joining HRC I have got PBs at every distance and have improved my HM time by 14 mins and my marathon time by 26 mins. I am a regular at club social events, and particularly enjoy the summer pub runs!í