Carnegie Harriers Committee 2017
Click on Members Image for Bio and Responsibilities
Click on Members Image for Bio and Responsibilities
During 2012, I ran Parkruns on an almost fortnightly basis, and found myself becoming part of the running community, through which I started to hear about various local races. One which kept coming up was the Devilla 15k, so I ran this race in 2013 using it as preparation for my first half-Marathon the following month (Alloa). As an unattached runner at the time, I was thoroughly impressed with everything about Devilla, and as a result I also then entered the Graham Clark Memorial at Knockhill. It was after completing the Knockhill race that I took the decision to join Carnegie Harriers, venturing that any club which can organise and host two such excellent races was going to be a good place to be.
Since joining the club, it has been great to see a steady and consistent improvement in my running year on year. It's also opened up a whole new world of running for me, I've competed in many cross-country and hill running events, have completed 6 Marathons, and also ventured into ultra-running territory, completing the Glen Ogle 33 in 2016. This improvement in my running has also enabled to push my limits in triathlon, and I have now completed 4 Ironman distance triathlons, as well as securing several podium positions and wins.
As a recent inductee to the Veteran age category, it's been great to see my times continue to improve, with pb's at all distances in 2017. I now look back at the decision to join Carnegie Harriers as being one of the best I've made and has brought so many amazing people in to my life. As president of the club, I'm enthusiastic and passionate about continuing to drive the club forward into 2018 and beyond.
Through the club I have made a lot of very good friends and had some great experiences, which would not have happened otherwise. My closest friends in the club are ultra-runners and as a result of supporting them in their long-distance adventures (I have supported runners in the West Highland Way 15 times), I have been privileged to have been asked to support some of the best Scottish and UK ultra-athletes in national and international competitions (100k and 24 hour races) in both the UK and Europe since 2009.
As a Jog Leader I was involved in setting up the first Jog Scotland group in Dunfermline and use the experience I gained there to assist with club training as required. I have been involved in the organisation of many club races, as Race Director of the Auld Toun 10K and the Graham Clark Memorial Races and as Assistant Director for the Devilla Forest Races.
I have over 10 years’ previous service on the committee, including 3 years as Treasurer and 4 as Club President before stepping down in 2013. I took up my current role of Club Secretary in 2016 using my knowledge and experience of club affairs and running in general to support the newer members of the committee.
I am proud to be a member of Carnegie Harriers and hope to continue to support it in any way I can.
I have enjoyed taking part in many hill events over the years, where I have pushed myself thru using the clubs techniques which I Learned thru club training nights. While taken part in many hill race events over the years, and pushing myself and with the support of keen club members to try my hand at ultra-distances in Scotland and England areas.
Running was one of those activities I had always meant ‘to get round to’ again. I tried it a couple of times when living in Perth, but running too fast with very cheap shoes gave me all sorts of niggles which put me off.
It finally came together when living in Dalgety Bay, a combination of various factors, and I finally managed some regular mileage (or more specifically ‘kilometre-age’ – yes, I’m a metric fan) without injury.
My first race was the Auld Toun 10k in 2011 where I was very impressed with the friendliness and organisation of Carnegie Harriers! I joined the club later that year by which time I had definitely come down with the racing bug.
Now approximately 150 races later (as of late 2017) I’ve been very lucky to have many fantastic memories, made some great friends and produced some performances I wouldn’t have dreamt about back in 2010 when I first pressed start on my old Forerunner 305.
Data is crucial for me; as a Process Engineer in my day job I analyse a lot of numbers from power stations, and it’s fair to say that without obsessively analysing pace, distance, heart rate and elevation in my running (Strava is great, but I’ve used other software like SportTracks for a lot longer) I wouldn’t have achieved anything like as much. Saying that, I can also enjoy a nice easy run going by feel alone, honest!
At a personal level I’m hoping to keep running for as long as possible and see if I can keep getting faster – which I know won’t be easy. Even though I find it difficult to make training due to family and work commitments I hope that I can help the club through designing some of the sessions, and being here to offer any advice on training and racing based on my own experiences, and from various books I’ve found useful and inspirational.
2017 has been fantastic with my first marathon going really well, and PBs in both half and 10k (and my first race win too!). However, in some ways I’m even more proud of going sub-17 three times in 5k races and twice in parkrun.
I ran a lot in my teens and early 20s and really enjoyed it. I was never a particularly fast runner, but I still thought I was pretty decent. Like many people, distractions in my late teens and early 20s when I attended University and moved out of the family home, meant that the running fell by the wayside.
Into my late 20s, early 30s, I got married, had 2 great children, undertook a pretty stressful job (including running my own business for a while) as well as completing an MBA in early 2010! As my MBA finished and the kids became less of a handful, I decided to use some of my new found spare time to get back to the gym. I was pretty dedicated to this (as many people who know me can testify, when I get an idea in my head I go all out to achieve it) and really enjoyed running on the treadmill.
I participated in a number of sporting events during this time such as The Rob Roy Challenge, Edinburgh to St Andrews cycle ride and Tough Mudder, which all led to a marked increase in my general fitness. This evidently led me to return to running outside, usually while I was waiting to pick up one of the kids from the numerous clubs they were attending. I found I was hooked on he endorphin rush and just loved running outdoors. I ran numerous Great Scottish and Great North runs as well as a number of Edinburgh ½ marathons and 10-mile races. This was around 2013 and while I was enjoying running, I felt I was stuck in a rut, my performances had started to plateau, tipping under 2 hours for the Glasgow ½ in 2012! I needed to ‘up my game’ so thought about joining a running club.
I did my research and liked the look of Carnegie Harriers, as they were local, and I had seen many CH runners out and about in Dunfermline over the years. The question that kept popping into my head was “am I good enough to join a club like Carnegie!?” After many false dawns I decided to head down to Pitreavie and join a session, but no one was there, so I left disappointed ☹. Many weeks passed before I decided to try again, heading along to a training session at The Glen with trepidation, I needn’t have worried!! The Harriers were there, where I was made to feel very welcome. As that first session progressed I really started to tire, but never really felt out of place alongside the other runners. I joined as soon as I got home, and the rest is history!!
Since joining Carnegie in 2014, I have run all over the world in the green and gold vest achieving PBs at ever race level from 1 mile to marathon. For example, my ½ marathon PB has gone from 1:57 to 1:36 in 2 years and my marathon PB has gone from 4:08 to 3:42 in the same period! I have even started to really enjoy cross country and hill running, which I never thought I would. My fitness has improved immeasurably, and I am completely hooked on running to the point that I run commute to work almost every day and get grumpy if I cannot get out for a run (just ask my wife!). I regularly attend club training and represent the club in races at every opportunity. I am also very active on the social side of club, and help at club races when I can.
I have discovered many new running routes in my local area and love the freedom running gives me to just get out an explore (usually before most mere mortals are out of bed 😊).
Since joining CH, I have picked up a lot of knowledge from experienced members, made numerous great friends and feel that I understands how the club works. I try to use my communication and management skills, from my job as a Technical/Project Manager at Toshiba Medical, to aid in the smooth running of the club and helping motivate members. I love promoting and contributing to the club by representing the wider membership and communicating their views as well as keeping the website up to date.
I still have many, many racing goals to achieve, including completing that first ultra!!!, and look forward to many great years of continued running and racing with Carnegie Harriers.