Q.1 When and why did you first take up running?
I didn’t really intend to take up running, it kind of found me. In 2015 I was living away from home and was looking for something to do in my spare time. Power walking was very popular at the time so I decided to give it a go. Over time I got a little faster, then one day I found myself running. I felt happy. My first race was the Great Birmingham 10K Run in May 2016.
Q.2 What running-related achievement are you most proud of and why?
I suffered an injury in July 2018 and by that Christmas I was still reliant on crutches. I made a promise to myself: I would ditch the crutches and run the Larne half marathon three months later. Completing that race was the start of a good year for me. So committing to that promise and everything that flowed from it, is what I’m most proud of.
Q.3 What is your favourite race and why?
I love The Great Rossa Run for the countryside, a real community spirit, brilliant organisation and post race hospitality.
Q.4 After we get through these uncertain times, what is your next big running goal?
I’m grateful just to be out on the roads at the moment but I’m looking forward to the London marathon.
Q.5 What is your favourite workout and why?
A long solo run; I love being outside with nothing to do but to keep going.
Q.6 What is the most embarrassing thing that has happened to you while running?
Don’t eat a big meal and immediately go out – you’ll end up being sick in a bin – and people will see you.
Q.7 When and why did you join Mallusk Harriers?
It was May 2017. I had recently moved back to the area and had no structure or purpose to my running. A friend had previously suggested I join a running club but I never had the confidence. One evening I saw a group of people running together on the road and decided to go for it. I googled clubs in my area and emailed Mallusk Harriers. The next week I went to a training session; it was at the playing fields, I got out of my car and Hilary Faith looked across at me and smiled. I just smiled back and pretended to call my dog for a walk (I don’t have a dog). The week after that I went back and this time I walked over to the group and introduced myself. And that was it.
Q.8 What have you learned most about yourself since you started running?
1. I can talk to strangers about running for hours on end, feel like we’re best buddies, and not even know their name.
2. Running is a necessary part of my life.
3. I deserve the cake.
Q.9 Outside of running, what is your favourite activity or hobby?
I’m not very good at it but I love a bit of a DIY…. put a paintbrush in my hand and I’m busy for days.
Q.10 Name one club member that inspires you and why?
This is a hard question to answer as there are so many. The members that ran the 24in24 event in 2017 inspired me to run my first marathon and I’ve been particularly inspired by the Club’s ultra runners, especially the women. But if I had to choose one person, it would be Karen McKee. It’s been a pleasure to watch her journey from joining the club to getting a good for age entry for the New York marathon. I’m inspired by her dedication to herself and to her kindness to others.