HRRAC Member Profiles
Here are profiles of our some of our members at Huddersfield Road Runners - the club has a good mix of ages, abilities, reasons for joining and for staying a member!
Darren, 30s, joined 2014
I have been a fairly active person for the best part of 15 years although running was something I started relatively recently in order to continue training during Christmas and New Year (when my gym was closed or I was visiting friends and family). I also found early morning running fitted better into my weekend as I could get it out of the way early and have the rest of my day to do what I needed. In the summer months of 2014 I had stepped up my fitness to include swimming and wanted to try and keep the level of fitness and motivation. I was keen to carry on running during winter months and running in a group appealed to me. I had planned for years to do this but only recently had I decided to take the plunge. During previous years of winter months I had just stopped running altogether once the dark and cold mornings and nights appeared. Running with the club is the motivation I need to continue training.
The HRRAC appealed to me as I wanted a friendly ‘no pressure’ group that would cater for all abilities, and is first and foremost looked on as fun. Although I wanted to eventually participate in some races the club does not force this (unlike some other clubs suggested whilst browsing their websites). It also is left up to the individual on when you participate, something that due to other commitments can’t happen every single session.
Being part of the club has really boosted my confidence to the point where after only a couple of months with the group I entered my first race and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I only wish I had done it sooner.
To anyone thinking of joining HHRAC then my advice is try it. We have a trial before commitment policy to see if it does suit your individual needs. The club does caters for all levels of ability and have really made me feel welcome and at home in such a short period of time. No-one is left behind and on my first run the members spent a long time looking for me to make sure I was not lost or on my own. As well as a good exercise run the social aspect of the club is very good with regular meetings after training runs.
Overall my running and fitness has improved due in large to confidence been gained with attending the club runs with lots of friendly advice and feedback. Certainly motivation is up even as the weather starts to turn.
Stewart, 60s, joined 1986
At the age of 36, after 18 years working in a fairly sedentary role as an accountant, my elder son, aged 8, decided “we” should start jogging, to enjoy some exercise. Son lasted about 5 weeks, whilst I am still pounding the pavements 30 years later. After 2 years of solitary running, I entered a local 5-mile charity run, and after completing it in a fairly respectable position (i.e. top 20%) I was approached by one of the organisers who was also a member of Huddersfield Road Runners based at the local Rugby Club. I duly turned up at the following Tuesday evening session (July 1986) and have remained a very regular (but moderate) runner ever since.
Whilst solitary running leaves open plenty of options, it presents virtually no challenge and the pace settles into an all-too-easy jog. Running in the company of others not only improved my running, but introduced a level of commitment to actually turn out on those filthy winter evenings and in the autumn gales. Better still, as club mates, we regularly entered races up to Half-Marathon distance during most months of the year, with my peak entry rate coming in 1987 when I entered 10 races in 6 months , starting with the London Marathon on 10th May and ending with the Holmfirth 15-Mile on November 1st.
I no longer enter races and have had some injury lay-offs in the past 3 years, but my enthusiasm remains and helping with the Club’s annual Huddersfield 10K Race ensures that I keep involved.
The Club’s fairly relaxed environment appeals to the membership and facilities to make friends and arrange social events keeps as coming.
Andrea, 50s, joined 1996
I joined Huddersfield Road Runners in 1996. I have never been a fast runner but over the following year or so I built up my fitness sufficiently to enter races and have done countless 10Ks (usually in just under an hour) and half marathons (in just under 2 hours). In 2002 and 2003 I built up to do the Benidorm and London marathons in 4 hours 20 minutes and 4 hours 40 minutes respectively – an achievement of which I am very proud.
More recently I have enjoyed club runs twice or three times per week in order to enjoy the company, countryside, fresh air and exercise for general fitness. I love planning and running routes that are new to us and I also love the company of the people that I run with. Some of us also have an annual trip to a European country to experience a half marathon abroad.
I have always enjoyed playing a part in the organisation of our annual club 10K race which has always been a great success.
In addition to the running I enjoy the socialising after training and the twice yearly dinners that we hold in a variety of restaurants in and around the town. I have made some good friends in the club and ‘The Running Club’ is a big part of my life.
Gordon, 70s, joined 1986
Hi, my names Gordon and I Joined Huddersfield Road Runners back in the summer of 1986, is it really that long ago?? I used to play rugby from my early school days into my mid-twenties when family life took over. I am an ex – smoker and finally managed to kick the habit in my mid – thirties after several attempts. Feeling this sudden surge of fitness coursing through my body and not to mention some additional body weight!!, surreptitiously I took to the streets in the hours of darkness and started my running only a mile at first and then gradually building on that until I eventually gained enough confidence to enter several races as an unattached entrant. The running club were based at the rugby club in Waterloo at that time and following my entry to the Examiner 5 mile Fun Run that year I plucked up the courage to join the running club the following Tuesday, something I have never regretted. By and large the club has been the same over many years, very friendly and sociable with a relatively small hard working membership this is particularly evident in the success of the Huddersfield 10K organised by the club which annually attracts entries around the 700 mark. The club caters for all abilities and offers support and encouragement to all with no pressure to join straight away. Me, well I’m a little past my sell by date now but I still go down to mid-week training nights albeit at a very pedestrian pace and limited distance these days but it’s great to remain involved. Back in my prime I completed many 10K’s, 10 milers and half marathons and 3 marathons with a PB for the Pennine Marathon of 3.41, modest by many standards and by comparison to some of my fellow club members but I could never have achieved that without the support, encouragement and benefits of belonging to a running club plus family support along the way.
Becky, 40s, joined 2009
I began running on my own several years ago but soon lost motivation and enthusiasm as I found it difficult to drag myself out of the house on a dark, cold, wet early morning or evening and I decided to join a running club as the thought of a commitment to meet up and running with company appealed to me.
I was concerned that I am not a particularly fast runner and would not be able to keep up. After researching various websites I contacted Huddersfield Road Runners as they were open to all ages and abilities and the option of running with the club for a few weeks as a trial was ideal. Straight away I was made welcome with members giving me encouragement and advice whilst running and even though for the first few weeks I struggled to keep up I was never left behind or made to feel a burden.
Since joining Huddersfield Road Runners I am now an active member of the club, not just running regularly on Tuesday evenings and Sunday mornings, but taking part in half marathons in Gothenburg, Trieste and Budapest on club trips abroad, helping organise the Huddersfield 10k and both my husband and I enjoy the social occasions too. I am still not a fast runner and I don’t compete in many races but I run simply because I really enjoy it; I feel so much better after a run, I do like the company of my many friends at the club and the stunning scenery makes the climb up the hills worthwhile!