How long have you been a Horsforth Harrier?

15 years. I joined on 5th January 2005.

In my teens and early 20s, I ran at Leeds City A.C and then Skyrac. I was part of a highly successful St Margaret’s Primary School team and my teacher was approached by a coach at Leeds City who encouraged a few of us to join the club. I wasn’t that great at running but my twin sister was, and we always did things together so that’s when I took running seriously. I moved to Skyrac when Leeds City moved from Carnegie to South Leeds Stadium, but left when I started doing a PGCE and didn’t have the time to commit.

Following the breakdown of a relationship and a return to living in Horsforth, I decided to join Horsforth Harriers and have never looked back.

Which training group/s do you normally run with?

I currently run with Steve Wood and Keith Park but have run in a number of different groups including Bev Hurst’s and Martin Coates when I have been fitter. I hope to get back to being able to run in Martin’s group in 2020.

What are your running goals for the year ahead?

Having recently changed jobs, I now have more time on my hands so am hoping to get back to full fitness and enjoy running again. I had lost my running mojo over the last 2/3 years due to work pressure and never having the time to put the training in. I was really unfit and struggled to keep up in my usual group, so to be able to run consistently and be injury free, is my running goal for 2020. Any fast times on the back of this consistency will be a bonus.

Photo by Philip Bland

What is the PB you are most proud of?

42.34 at the Abbey Dash 10K. I consider a 10K race too short and fast for me so was chuffed to bits with this pb.

What was your first race?

I ran in the Leeds Schools Cross Country League race at Halton Middle School (now Whitkirk Primary) for St Margaret’s Primary School aged 10 (1983!)

What’s your favourite race, and why?

Northumberland Coastal Run. It usually marks the start of the 6 weeks holiday which is obviously a massive bonus! Being able to combine it with a family weekend away and the company of lots of Harriers, in addition to running along the stunning coastline makes this a favourite.

That said, it has also been my worst race! 2018 was incredibly challenging with a 40mph head wind and driving rain for 13 miles. I was 20 minutes slower than in previous years and still feel pretty traumatised by the experience!

Pictured with fellow Harriers at NCR 2018

What is your most memorable experience as a Horsforth Harrier?

There have been so many! Running the Edinburgh Marathon in May 2007, getting the good for age time and then being proposed to by my now husband. (He must really love me as I wasn’t looking my most attractive straight after the race!) Gordon Little knew that Jon was planning to propose and had rung Jon in the morning to see whether he had popped the question yet. I quizzed Jon about who was on the phone and what the call was about but he declined to say!

The Run for Marc Springer over Rombalds Moor was particularly special. He was a great friend and inspiration, who I miss dearly.

The Leeds Country Way and Bradford Millennium relays are always memorable and exciting especially when we are in with a shout.

Emma-Grayson-Bollon-&-Bev-Elliott-at-BMW-by-Dave-Woodhead

Enjoying the Bradford Millennium Way Relay – photo by Dave Woodhead

Pictured with Serena Blackburn at BMW 2019 – photo by Woodentops

Complete this sentence: “I run, therefore I am…”

“I run, therefore I am blessed with lots of amazing places to experience and friends to share it with.”