Q1. When and why did you first take up running?
I took up running in May 2015 after having watched the Belfast Marathon that year and being in awe of all the people who were making it look so easy. I knew I could not run the length of myself and I was feeling exhausted everyday when I came home from work and thought it was about time to do some exercise and get a bit fitter.
Q2. What running-related achievement are you most proud of and why?
Without doubt it is the Belfast Marathon 2019! I still look at my medal and I’m amazed that I did it. I had made it clear to many people that I would NEVER do a marathon and I shocked myself (and many club members!) that I completed one. A special mention must go to my running buddy Gemma Fowler who kept me going throughout all the training. I could not have completed it without her, and we had the best craic on the day.
Q.3 What is your favourite race and why?
Our Mallusk Harriers 5 mile race of course! It really is one of the best races with the best goodie bags and pizza which makes it so hard to beat! I also enjoy Ballymena Belles as it’s a ladies only race and its great to see women supporting women along the way. There is also a great spread afterwards!
Q4. Do you have any upcoming running goals?
I would love to get faster as its been quite some time since I had a PB however I find I put too much pressure on myself and get too frustrated when I don’t see immediate results. (I can hear all the coaches shouting at me right now!) Maybe one day…
Q5. What is your favourite workout and why?
Don’t tell Alex but a good hill session is one of my favourites. They terrify me at the same time, and I have been on occasion shaking with fear when I arrive to training. However, it’s a great feeling finishing that last hill knowing that you have given it everything. Also, the night I ran up PCW 8 times (thanks Suzanne B) also sticks out as it would have been something I previously thought impossible for me until I did it!
Q6. What is the most embarrassing thing that has happened to you while running?
Probably my first day. I was afraid I was going to be cold when out running so arrived up with the thickest jogging bottoms I could find, t-shirt, fleece and rain jacket (this was May time!) Not only could I not run very far without stopping but I also had to keep stripping off layers!
Q7. When and why did you join Mallusk Harriers?
After watching the marathon in May 2015, I looked for c25k scheme and the ones I could find said they would put me on a waiting list. I knew that if I didn’t sign up and start something immediately, I was likely to give up before I even started so I took the plunge and arrived up to training one night. I think I officially signed up to Mallusk Harriers 2 weeks later.
Q8. What have you learned most about yourself since you started running?
That anything is possible, and I am capable of much more than I could every have imagined. I didn’t believe anyone who told me I could run a marathon and now I have. Two years ago, I would have thought you were crazy if you said you were running a marathon and now I am one of those crazy people – anything is possible.
Q9. Outside of running, what is your favourite activity or hobby?
Probably reading but since lockdown I have finally given into my mum and taken up a bit of gardening. Now I have plans to start growing vegetables next spring – as I said anything is possible so watch this space for excess leeks, potatoes, peas or lettuces being passed around next year!
Q10. Name one club member that inspires you and why?
I cannot name just one person as so many people are inspirational in our club, from the people who provide cakes and buns at the drop of a hat, to the club record breakers who make it all look so easy and the coaches who give up so much of their own time. However, I would like to mention Patricia Curistan, who is always so cheerful and encouraging to everyone she meets at training. She is one of those runners who makes it all look so effortless and along with Ken McAuley and Susan Thompson they make a great team who encourage everyone