Carnegie Harriers Committee 2019/20
Click on Members Image for Bio and Responsibilities
Click on Members Image for Bio and Responsibilities
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.
As well as holding a HND in Sports Coaching, I am a qualified jog leader and ran a successful jogscotland group in Inverkeithing for a few years. The group is currently on hold due to personal circumstances. I have also coached runners on a 1 to 1 basis, from couch to 5k programmes through to marathon training.
I took up running about 12 years ago as a jogscotland member and joined Carnegie Harriers 2 years later. I love running and have participated in races ranging from 1 to 95 miles. I perform better on the road, but I’m happiest on the hills and trails. My individual credentials however are unimportant when it comes to coaching others.
After all, their progress is not about me
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.
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