Purple Day at Barnsley parkrun

Out of the 199 runners who took part in Barnsley parkrun on Saturday, there is one lady who deserves a special mention.

katie lee purple day

Sixteen year-old Katie Lee is an inspiration. Katie organised a special parkrun fundraising event, which was Continue reading

Training update – trying to take action

TRAINING has gone a bit wayward. Over the past few weeks, possibly the last month, I seem to have lost focus. My mileage has dropped, I’ve been racing every five minutes, work has got in the way of training, and I’ve put on weight after eating too many takeaways and chocolate bars.

Things are sliding. They have been for a while.

I’m not going to panic, that would be completely and utterly pointless, but I am going to make a few changes. A weekly training update on my blog will help me keep focused and on track. Even if it doesn’t, I can always fill you in on how many chocolate bars have been consumed! Continue reading

Running to fight cancer

LIFE can change in a moment. One minute you’re fine and happy and laughing, the next something happens to change things.  That’s how it was this weekend.

We went to meet some friends for lunch. They’re expecting their first baby, and Chris and I are planning our wedding, so we were all looking forward to catching up. We spent a lovely afternoon in Pateley Bridge in North Yorkshire, eating a roast dinner and chatting away about babies and weddings, all of us excited for the future.

On the way home, we received news that Continue reading

Watching the British Indoor Championships

AS a writer for Athletics Weekly I used to attend athletics events all the time. From grass roots to international meets I was there, notebook in hand ready to interview the athletes as they stepped off track.

Since leaving the magazine, I haven’t Continue reading

Staying positive when training time is limited

I DON’T like to miss a training session, but sometimes no matter how hard I try life gets in the way.

Take last week. Things were hectic. As well as work and study deadlines, the ponies kept escaping. They’d spotted the spring grass and were prepared to brave the electric fence to get to it. Most of my training involved Continue reading

Looking for an autumn marathon

This idea I’ve had to run a marathon won’t seem to go away. I’ve tried to talk myself out of it, but it’s not working.

It keeps coming to the front of my mind. I wish it wouldn’t.

A marathon is a long way. It will involve miles of training. I’d have to make my long run more than 12 miles. It’ll be exhausting. It’ll take over my life. It might make me slower. I might get injured. And then there’s the time factor. What with work and the horses and study I’m pressed for time as it is.

I keep returning to these points, trying to talk myself out of it. So far, it hasn’t worked.

If I did decide to do a marathon which marathon would I choose? I decided to do a little research. I’m not committing to anything just yet (or at all), but a bit of research wouldn’t hurt.

The marathon would have to be in the autumn. I know there’s New York in November. Then there’s Dublin, Amsterdam and Florence. Closer to home there’s Nottingham, Leicester, Chester. Loch Ness, and Abingdon.

So many to choose from.

I’m no closer to making a decision. Do I run? Do I leave it for a year or so? If I run, which marathon do I choose? The UK or abroad? I’m not sure at all.

Thinking of a marathon

AFTER months of training in the cold and dark winter months, spring could finally have arrived.

The sun is shining, the sky a brilliant blue, and although there is still a chill in the air it is much warmer than it has been.

My run today was an off-road 12 miler in the Yorkshire countryside. Most of my winter training is done in the dark, which means I stay on the road. It was fantastic to be out running in daylight and off-road. For me, this really does mark the end of winter and the start of spring.

This is one of my favourite times of year. The extra daylight makes so much difference to training, to everything really. I always feel more positive in spring. I get a feeling that anything is possible. I really got that feeling today. In fact, a few miles into the run when I was relaxing and letting my mind drift, well, I started thinking about marathons.

This rarely happens. I’m not a marathon runner. This is what I tell myself. This is what I tell other people. Say NO to marathons should be my mantra.

I’ve done two marathons in my life. One in 2006. One in 2009. I survived both, but it was messy, very messy. The training was all wrong.  I didn’t really know what I was doing. The first one took six hours (45 minutes queuing for the loo), the second five hours 19 minutes.

Since then, I’ve focused on getting faster, and decided to avoid marathons. When anyone mentions the M word,  the barrier goes up. Say No to marathons. It’s a long way. It involves doing a lot of long runs, and long runs aren’t really my thing.

But today, as I was running through the woods and enjoying myself in the sunshine, I actually thought that maybe I could run another marathon, and run it well. Anything’s possible.

I could learn to love my long run. I could get into the right mindset. I might even enjoy it. If I did an autumn marathon it would be lovely to train through the summer months.

‘When’s the New York marathon?’ I asked Chris.

‘It’s late on. November. It’s always cold.’

I pictured myself running through Manhattan, over the bridges, through Central Park. If someone had given me an entry form today, I would have signed up, no messing.

But could I run a marathon?

‘You could do it.’ It was as though Chris was reading my mind. ‘You could.’

He’s right. I could. With spring here, and a long summer to come, maybe it’s time to put the doubts to one side, to believe in myself.

‘Do you want to run a marathon?’ Chris asked.

‘I’ll think about it.’

uploaded March 2016 636

I took this photo late afternoon, when it was just starting to cloud over and get dark.





Celebrating 25 years of Barnsley Harriers

BARNSLEY Harriers, one of the clubs in my local area, celebrates its 25th anniversary this year.

Throughout 2016, the club is holding a number of events, which will include running, socialising, or a combination of both.

The first event, the BaHa 25km race, was a solo or relay race at Silkstone, Barnsley. It was a five-and-a-bit mile, off-road and hilly route, with about 800 feet of climbing on each lap.



Since joining the Barnsley running community, I’ve made some lovely friends at Barnsley Harriers. The club also organises my favourite race, the Silkstone Shuffle, so I was keen to support their birthday celebrations.

Sarah, my Barnsley Harrier friend, and I decided that instead of battling it out against each other we would join Continue reading

Qualifying as a coach in running fitness

MY coaching journey began back in February 2015. It started as an idea. Why not train as a coach in running fitness?

I’d qualified as a run leader the summer before, and had always thought that – eventually – I would like to train as a coach. For some reason in February last year, that idea had jumped to the front of my mind and wouldn’t go away. I tried to talk Continue reading