How long have you been running?
Lesley: I started running just casually, one run a week or less, around 8 years ago as a member of a gym in Burnley where I grew up. I was really more of a natter and a coffee afterwards. I have only been running seriously since I joined Newcastle. Adrian has been running most of his life. He used to run to the shop and back for his mum as a school boy, a round trip of about 2 miles. At seventeen he joined the British Army where he trained and ran long distance. When he came out of the Army he began racing and has done 37 Marathons to date.
How long have you been a member of the club?
We both joined Newcastle about 18 months ago.
What is your favourite aspect of the club?
Lesley: Newcastle AC was a lifeline for me when I moved to Staffordshire seven years ago after living in Lancashire for almost fifty years. I didn’t know a soul here and struggled to settle in at first. Newcastle was the turning point for me in feeling that I belonged. You all made us feel so welcome. So my favourite aspect of the club has been getting to know all its lovely members. Thank you all for that! Adrian loves to hear what the others are doing and when. We both love looking out for club vests at events.
What’s the best race or event you’ve competed in?
Adrian: It’s the Snowdonia Marathon. I must like it as I’ve done it seven times! One year it was called off due to massive storms the night before, large trees fell blocking the roads into Llanberris and the start. I stayed in a B&B and ran it the next day with another guy, who had the same idea, Lord Lichfield’s Shepherd as it happens. No medal, no t shirt, only the two of us; I came second!
Lesley: My favourite race was my first 10k, a charity race I did to raise money for one of the mums at our gym that had sadly lost her little girl to Cancer. At this point I had never run a step before, but another friend from the gym took me under her wing and trained with me every other day for about ten weeks up to race day. One of the girls , Bernadette, had run the London Marathon the year before and I was in awe of her achievement but so nervous at the thought that I was going to run the same race with her.
I was aware during the race that we were running at a similar pace. Turning a corner, towards the end, to my horror loomed a large steep hill. I took a breath and charged at it and just kept going until I reached the top. Turning around I realised Bernadette was way behind at the bottom. I pushed on to the finish, 4 mins ahead, I couldn’t believe it!! 56 mins and still remains my PB to this day and I will never forget the race!!!
What’s your favourite PB?
Lesley: Mine is as above.
Adrian: I loved the Uttoxeter half. 1hr 24mins back in the day!! Closely followed by the John Oultram, very hilly, ten miler. 1hr 1min in the searing heat.
Which club member young or old inspires you to be a better runner?
Lesley: Tim Twentyman, still running strong, with great times. I was inspired by Carey Dyer’s father who ran a great time at our local Potts arf. There’s hope for me yet!
Adrian: I remember Bill Barker who has put in some miles over the years.
If you could run a race anywhere in the world where would it be and why?
Adrian: I would love to do the Big Sur in America. It looks hard but an amazing coastal run.
Lesley: In March I will be running the Rome half marathon, as part of my friend Lisa’s hen party. I am so excited. It’s a city I have wanted to visit for a long time. Stunningly beautiful. Think I will cry the whole route!!
What’s the best bit of running advice you’ve ever been given?
Simply listen to your body when running a marathon.
Do you have a running hero/heroine (alive or dead, famous or infamous)?
Lesley: Dame Kelly Holmes, on big occasions always seemed to be injured until it all came together for her in 2004 winning 2 gold medals. Brilliant!
What’s your favourite post race treat?
Having a nice meal together. A beer and some fizz for me (Lesley).