Carnegie Harriers Committee 2020/21
Click on Members Image for Bio and Responsibilities
Click on Members Image for Bio and Responsibilities
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 outside. 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 ultra. For example, my ½ marathon PB has gone from 1:57 to 1:32 in 2 years! 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, started to understand how the club works, joined the committee and have been President for the last 18 months. It's great seeing the commitment that the committee put into the running of the club and it's great to be part of that.
I still have many, many racing goals to achieve, including completing in more ultras and hill races!!!, and look forward to many great years of continued running and racing with Carnegie Harriers.
I thoroughly enjoyed the more structured approach to training and the camaraderie of the club. Since joining in 2004, I have run around 2 dozen marathons and a similar amount of ultras in the UK and overseas. My proudest marathon achievement was qualifying to run the Boston marathon in 2007 and my longest event was a 104 mile event, the Heart of Scotland (Dunkeld centred) in 2010. I’ve also supported club mates in their ultra endeavours and have pitched in to support others running in Scottish ultra vest.
Over the last few years, I have been very involved in volunteering at senior levels in Girlguiding which has impacted on my time to train. I’ve managed to keep things ticking over (just) and was pleased to complete a goal I set myself of having run in every Scottish county by the time I finished my term as Scottish Chief Commissioner.
My time of volunteering at a senior level in Girlguiding is behind me now, though I’m still a brownie leader and I’m enjoying having more freedom to train regularly. My goal for the next couple of years is to regain lost fitness and then complete the St Cuthbert’s Way race and the River Ayr race as I have unfinished business with them.
The running photos come from my last race (apart from The Festive Forest) in Carcassonne in October 2017
Fast forward six years and I've never stopped!
I decided to join a Club in 2016, and Carnegie Harriers was recommended at the time. I love this club and all of it's members, and couldn't imagine not being a part of it now. The club has come on leaps and bounds since I joined, and continues to evolve and move with the times.
I decided to join the Committee as Womens Captain, and want to make an impact by encouraging and supporting our female members in everything they do. I'm here to help and advise on any aspects of training, races and protocols and have a very sympathetic ear, should anyone need to talk.
It was a short loop, just under 5k, and it took me a few times before I was able to get round it without walking for some of it. This was a totally different proposition to running in short bursts for football. But I persevered. I found out about the local Parkrun (thanks Neil), so ran my first of those in July 2016. I was then persuaded/badgered/convinced to sign up for the Kirkintilloch 12.5k in Feb 2017 (thanks, Neil). It was a marked step up in distance, but did it anyway. Met a few Harriers that day, and decided to sign up for the Club that evening (thanks, Neil). By the end of the week, I’d been to my 1st training session and had signed up for the Alloa Half (thanks again, Neil). In 2018, I ran my 1st marathon, comfortably inside my 4 hour target.
My only regret is that I never did this sooner. I’ve really enjoyed being part of the Club. I try to get to training as often as I can, as it has made such a difference to my running. I really enjoy doing the different sessions and learning about the benefits of each type of activity. Joining the Committee as Treasurer, provides me with the opportunity to help out and to put something back into the Club.
Eventually in my 40s, having introduced my son to a running club, I began to photograph him and his club mates at events, which led to a lot of requests to photograph high profile races from Scottish Athletics and other clubs and media outlets.
Eventually, in my very late 40s, on realising I was a bit overweight I decided to start running myself, but wasn’t very good at it, found every step a struggle and just thought it was very boring. Someone suggested the Couch to 5k programme to build things up gradually and eventually on the third attempt, I completed it.
Round about the same time, the Dunfermline parkrun started and I volunteered to photograph it and was eventually persuaded by the lovely core team there to run it. It wasn’t pretty but I began to enjoy running for the first time. I still found it quite boring though so looked around and found the excellent Jogscotland Dunfermline and discovered that running in a group was infinitely more satisfying. I also realised despite still having a large appetite I was losing weight which was a bonus.
I then thought about joining Carnegie Harriers and even spied on a couple of their training sessions from afar but decided they were too fast for me, it would get embarrassing having folk waiting for me, and would dent my confidence, so left it a little while before taking the plunge and turning up at a session.
I can honestly say it was one of the best decisions I’ve made. I was welcomed from day one, didn’t get left behind, no one laughed at me, the training was excellent, I made a lot of new friends, entered races, have gradually got stronger and faster and to top it all, lost 2 stone and at 52 never felt fitter.
I regret not starting running earlier but on the plus side despite my age I’m still getting personal bests at races. The highlight for me being a sub 20 minute 5k at the Scottish Road Racing Champs. I’ve now been with the club almost 2 years and have competed at all distances up to half marathon although still undecided whether my injury prone body is up to a full marathon yet, but never say never..
I also greatly enjoy photographing Carnegie Harriers races and will continue to do so and look forward to bringing new ideas to the club as a Committee member.
The first session I attended in August 2018 was a hill session in the public park and while it was challenging, it was great to be running with other people and to be taking part in a targeted training session. Everyone was so friendly and it was great to be flexible with training and attend sessions when I could with no obligation to go every week.
Since joining Carnegie I have completed my first marathon (Stirling) and two Ultras (Glen Ogle & Falkirk 8 Hour). I have made some new friendships through the club and it is great to know people who share my enjoyment of running. I love running as you can fit it in at any time and in any weather, and I enjoy having the social aspect too at training, parkrun, social runs and travelling to races with other members. The club and running has given me so much and I’m looking forward to continuing the work of the committee while supporting and promoting the great work of the club and its members.
I quickly realised that it was a club with a thriving membership, a good training structure, friendly , welcoming members and a commitment to work with runners of all abilities. I found the regular training provided by Carnegie Harriers caused a noticeable improvement in my times; and the wise, practical advice of the more experienced members of the club was worth following. I have also thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to enter races as part of a club. Before joining the club, I had done a bit of trail running as well as road running, but through the club was introduced to cross-country and hill-running. I have also put my foot in the ultra waters 4 or 5 times but I don’t feel the love like some of our members do!
Highlights in the last few years have been running the London Marathon 4 times (always with a crowd of other Carnegies in attendance); wearing my Scottish vest on 6 occasions for the British and Irish XC Internationals, and gaining team medals at 5 of those; and enjoying the cross-country season of very mixed weather, varied race routes and the vocal support from club members.
Coming to running later in life meant I peaked at the age of 56/57, and although I’m definitely on the downward slope now, I’m happy if I can keep fit and uninjured. The effort the club has made during the pandemic, to engage members through the Virtual Grand Prix and other virtual races, as well as entertainment in the form of virtual quizzes, has served its members well, keeping us well educated on the delights of Eurovision or similar deep knowledge. Having gained a lot from being a club member, I hope to put something back in. I look forward to being part of a committee that is forward-looking and engages its members at all levels, socially as well as in running.
I only started running at the age of 16 back in 1985 when I ran my first Dunfermline half marathon. This was the catalyst that gave me what I call the running bug and I then joined the Carnegie Harriers in the early 1990’s for my first spell with this very special club to enhance my running and learn from many experienced runners and also move up to running marathon distance for the first time.
In 2002 I left the club due to career and family commitments not allowing me the time to take part in my beloved sport through a club that had allowed me to improve at all distances from mile to marathon.
In 2010 I returned to running in an effort to lose a significant weight gain and after two or three years I re-joined the club following a conversation with one of the members at parkrun one Saturday. This led to a significant improvement in what had become a static running career I terms of improvement in times and my motivation to run for enjoyment/
The training, support of others and the vast experience within the club, has assisted me in achieving lifetime bests at 5k and Marathon in recent years and keeps me motivated to continue to enjoy running and in the last couple of years have a crack at running ultras including a 24 hour race in the middle of winter.